Greed: Economics and Ethics in Conflict

Greed: Economics and Ethics in Conflict

Greed: Economics and Ethics in Conflict

Greed: Economics and Ethics in Conflict

Synopsis

"We Live in an age of greed. Economic good times and the self-destruction of socialist systems have left capitalism unrivaled in popular minds as a way of life. Yet today's economy is not without its downside or its victims. Basic human services - and even religion - have become commodities. Corporations reorganize for short-term viability. Increasingly, people see themselves not as citizens but as consumers. In this book, Childs probes this disturbing development in its economic and cultural dimensions, gauging contemporary ways in light of Christian ethical principles. Investigating such issues as corporate downsizing, executive compensation, health-care delivery, and global economic disparities mirrored in hunger, Childs also offers a biblically-based alternative vision of sharing and community." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The witness of the Christian ethic is seldom more relevant than when it addresses greed. Greed in all its manifestations has a profoundly deleterious effect on everything from the quality of personal relationships to the just distribution of goods and the future of our environment. the Christian ethic of love with its commitment to sharing and generosity, reflecting God's love and generosity, points away from the selfishness of greed toward the building of caring communities. in this book I want to draw out this contrast and make it the catalyst for shaping a thoughtful, faithful, and powerful Christian witness in economic life.

The issues dealt with here are a natural outgrowth of previous work. Concerns prompted by decades of teaching in social ethics and years of dialogue with business leaders were brought together in the 1995 publication of my book Ethics in Business: Faith at Work. in that book I sought to bring the Christian ethic to bear upon issues at the intersection of business and society and to encourage Christians in business to do likewise. I stand by the encouragement in that book that we can make a difference and have a vocation to try. This book reaffirms that calling and broadens the scope of concern somewhat. It also seeks to grapple with a number of distressing developments in economic life that had not fully emerged at the time of writing Ethics in Business: Faith at Work or had not been a part of its focus. in a sense, this grappling follows up a thread of Christian realism about human behavior and institutions that had been woven into the previous work. However, in this book as in the others I have written, realism always coexists with idealism and hope.

The topics dealt with as illustrative of greed in its various manifestations are like cases around which to develop our thoughts. Though the book deals with greed in business, disparities in health care, and the effects of economic imbalance on global hunger, for example, it is not about those phenomena per se. It is really about how these areas of economic life provide occasions to heighten our . . .

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