A Buddhist-Christian Critique of Neo-Liberal Economics

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I. Introduction I have focused this discussion on neo-liberal economics because this is now the dominant form. It is dominant in universities in the United States, and it exercises a dominant influence on the institutions that support the global economy. This includes the government of the United States and the Bretton Woods Institutions — The …

A Sustainable Society

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I. There is a tension between short-term goals and long-term goals. This tension is felt particularly by youth. There is great pressure toward gaining the approval of those of one’s own age, and this often means acting in ways that will not support future success. Parents and teachers, on the other hand, emphasize the importance …

Africa and Globalisation for the Common Good: The Quest for Justice and Peace

Article by An International Conf. on Globalisation for the Common Good

NOTE: The International Conference on Globalisation for the Common Good and the Quest for Justice and Peace in Africa, held in Kericho, Kenya, April 21 – 24, 2005,was attended by many speakers representing governments, religions. business, academia, civil society, charity, the voluntary sector, media and young people. The Conference issued the following declaration and invited …

Apology For The Hireling: A Work Ethic For the Global Marketplace

Article by Dennis P. McCann

On Good Shepherd Sunday, which points our attention to John 10, my attention is usually focused on the Shepherd himself, occasionally and less piously so on the sheep and their implications for a theology of the laity. Recently, however, I was forced to consider the hireling who, when he sees the wolf coming, abandons the …

Bringing Economics and Theology Together Again

Article by Marcus Braybrooke

The basic agreement of all religions about core moral values is increasingly being recognized by religious leaders. It is urgent that these values are now translated into practical policies that will reduce the economic inequalities in our world, bring relief to the very poor, protect the environment and reduce the dangers of violence and terrorism. …

Can “Sustainability” Be Sustained?

Article by Max L. Stackhouse

A Review Essay of John B. Cobb, Jr., Sustainability: Economics, Ecology and Justice (Maryknowl: Orbis Books, 1992). There is little doubt about it: ecological/environmental awareness is one the three great entrees into cross-cultural thinking today. Along with human rights and the emergence of a pervasive matrix of global economic interdependence, the issue of the future …

Christian Faith and Economic Practice

Article by Roger Shinn

In 1984 James Gustafson, in his eminent Ethics from a Theocentric Perspective, jolted religious professionals with a blast against “ecclesiastical moralizing” and “intellectual flabbiness”: in church “pronouncements.” The usually gentle Gustafson accused churches of failure to recognize the complexities of social issues, neglect of “sound theological and ethical arguments” and dogmatic refusal to recognize “the …

Combating Modern-day Feudalism: Land as God’s Gift

Article by Walter Rybeck and Ronald Pasquariello

Calling for "a modern equivalent of Jubilee," signers of a proposal fundamentally to revise the property tax structure petitioned the endorsement of the 1984 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. The proposal, which the conference did endorse, sought to shift taxes from labor to land values. Combining good biblical theology with public policy insight, …

Covenant with the Poor: Toward a New Concept of Economic Justice

Article by Yong-Bok Kim

PART I WHY ECONOMICS? The people of God live within the process of history. The Biblical history of the Old and the New Testaments, and church history testify to this reality. Furthermore, our faith that God created the whole world and all its peoples therein dictates that they are all people(s) of God.*) —————— *)Some …

Economics for the Earth

Article by David A. Krueger

A Review of The Earthist Challenge to Economism: A Theological Critique of the World Bank, by John B.Cobb Jr., St. Martin’s, l92 pp. $65.00 Since the World Bank affects poor people around the globe more directly than any other social institution, John Cobb’s exploration is important for anyone concerned about how Christians can creatively engage …

Foreign Aid: Does It Harm or Help?

Article by David Sogge

Aid to Africa: So Much to Do, So Little Done By Carol Lancaster University of Chicago Press. Future Positive: International Co-operation in the 21st Century By Michael Edwards. Earthscan Publications, London. For 50 years, foreign aid programs have been a standard feature of Western dealings with non-Western places, guided by seldom-questioned notions of assisting “modernization” …

Have Ethics Disappeared from Wall Street.?

Article by Robert Bachelder

Soon after the financial scandal broke last year involving Ivan Boesky, the Wall Street arbitrager, I spoke with a dean of Harvard University’s Business School at a suburban Boston church. Not wanting to sound moralistic, .I wondered aloud if insider trading in ‘securities might be ethically ambiguous since some argue that it promotes market efficiency. …

Inequality, U.S.A.

Article by Michael Jinkins

  Book Review: Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich. By Kevin Phillips. Broadway, 473 pp. The argument of Kevin Phillips’s provocative and disturbing new book could almost be rendered as a cliché: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. According to Phillips, the very rich in the U.S. have …

Sharing the Wealth: The Church as Biblical Model for Public Policy

Article by Ronald J. Sider

What is the biblical view of God’s will for economic relations among his people? For an answer, we shall look at the jubilee passage in Leviticus, at the new community of Jesus’ disciples, at the first church in Jerusalem, and at the Pauline collection. Text: To ask government to legislate what the church cannot persuade …

The Global Economy and its Theoretical Justification

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I. The International Economy In one sense, there has been a global economy for a long time. For thousands of years caravans carried goods between China and Europe. There are indications of connections in very ancient times between the Eastern and the Western Hemispheres. Nevertheless, these trade connections played a very small role in the …

The Roots of Economics — And Why it has Gone So Wrong

Article by Kamran Mofid

Good economists know, from work carried out within their discipline, that the foundations of their subject are virtually non-existent . . . Conventional economics offer prescriptions for the problems of inflation and unemployment which are at best misleading and at worst dangerously wrong . . . Despite its powerful influence on public life, its achievements …

Will Economism End in Time?

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

We live in a world in which the economic order reigns. National and international decisions are made primarily in terms of expected results for the economy. Even issues of national sovereignty are subordinated to economic considerations. This organization of the world’s life and institutions, together with the underlying belief system, I call “economism”. In an …