The Market Economy and Christian Ethics

The Market Economy and Christian Ethics

The Market Economy and Christian Ethics

The Market Economy and Christian Ethics

Synopsis

Peter Sedgwick explores the relation of a theology of justice to that of human identity in the context of the market economy, and engages with critics of capitalism and the market. He examines three aspects of the market economy: firstly, how does it shape personal identity, through consumption and the experience of paid employment in relation to the work ethic? Secondly, what impact does the global economy have on local cultures? Finally, as manufacturing changes out of all recognition through the impact of technology and global competition, what is the effect in terms of poverty? Drawing on the response of the Catholic Church, both in the United States and in Papal encyclicals, to the market economy from 1985-1991, Sedgwick argues that its involvement deserves to be better known. Moreover, he recommends that the churches remain part of the debate in reforming and humanising the market economy.

Excerpt

This book is the fourteenth in the series New Studies in Christian Ethics. Like Michael Northcott's book in the series, The Environment and Christian Ethics, the book is concerned with one of the macro issues facing the new millennium, namely the now dominant world culture of the market economy. Again, like other books in the series, a central concern here is to engage centrally with the secular moral debate at the highest possible intellectual level and, secondly, to demonstrate that Christian ethics can make a distinctive contribution to this debate, either in moral substance or in terms of underlying moral justifications.

Peter Sedgwick is unusually well placed to offer a critical, theological guide to the culture of the market economy. His role within the Church of England's Board for Social Responsibility, along with his previous work as a lecturer at Birmingham and Hull Universities, has given him an exceptionally wide range of contacts and resources in social economics. He has combined sustained scholarship and teaching in Christian ethics with the practical work of the Board. in the process, he has been an important contributor to theological studies following the Church of England report Faith in the City, a key contributor to the more recent report Unemployment and the Future of Work, and the author of the well-received book The Enterprise Culture (1992).

His focus here is upon the cultural and ethical implications of market economics in the modern world. He is particularly concerned with the way personal identity is shaped today by consumerism, by fast-changing patterns of work, and by the powerful forces of globalization. Especially after the collapse of . . .

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