God and Wall Street

By Williams, Rowan | Newsweek, February 8, 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

God and Wall Street


Williams, Rowan, Newsweek


Byline: Rowan Williams

It is quite striking that, in the Gospel parables, Jesus more than once uses economics as a framework for his stories: the parable of the talents, the dishonest steward--even, we might say, the vignette of the lost coin. Like our coexistence with the earth, like familial bonds, like the tensions of public political life, economic relationships help us see our humanity in the context of God's actions. Money is a metaphor; our monetary dealings shed light on aspects of our human condition that, rightly understood, tell us something about how we might relate to God.

Recently I went to New York City to participate in a conference at Trinity Wall Street. It was called "Building an Ethical Economy: Theology and the Marketplace." In my view, the contribution of theology to economic decision making is not only about raising questions concerning the common good--questions that deal with how this or that policy grants or withholds liberty for the most disadvantaged. Obviously, these are important issues. But we need to look with great care as well at what our economic practices are assuming and promoting about human motivation and integrity.

In our culture, we have become used to an attitude in which economic motivations, relationships, and conventions are fundamental: the language of seller and customer has wormed its way into practically all areas of our social life, even education and health care. The implication is that the most basic interaction between one human being and another is the carefully calibrated exchange of material resources.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

God and Wall Street
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?