Our Religious Devotion to a Multi Earth Economic Model
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 5:23PM
Lee Van Ham in From Lee

One of the big, Earth-destroying practices going on that we can change has us treating a particularly destructive economic model with religious devotion. Economics as religion is a highly fertile way to think about economies, all the more so because an economy’s religious function is largely overlooked. It’s not covered on many blogs, so that’s the topic I want to treat for awhile here. I’ll begin with a couple of quotes.

More than religion itself, more than literature, more than cable television, it is economics that offers the dominant creation narrative of our society, depicting the relation of each of us to the universe we inhabit, the relation of human beings to God. — Gordon Bigelow

Current thinking assigns to The Market a wisdom that in the past only the gods have known…. The Market offers the religious benefits that once required prayer and fasting, without the awkwardness of denominational commitment. Harvey Cox 

Of all the times that I have remixed how I understand the relationship between economics and religion, one of the most important ones happened while I was preparing a paper that I gave in 2010 at a conference on “Nurturing the Prophetic Imagination.” It was co-sponsored by the Center for Justice and Reconciliation and other groups on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego. Among the many questions that the “Call for Papers” put out to potential presenters was, “Is there such a thing as God’s economy?” For many years I would have answered with an emphatic “No!” I had taken the position that religion did not advocate for a particular economic model. Instead, one’s faith, I argued, provides a guide to function ethically and morally within whatever economic system we are part of. But now I wasn’t so sure. I seemed to be changing my mind. So, I decided to submit a paper on “God’s Economy,” figuring it would force me to wrestle anew with the question.

But before I get to my answer in future blogs, what do you think? Is there such a thing as God’s economy?

Article originally appeared on OneEarth sustainability amid climate change (http://theoneearthproject.com/).
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