Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Divine Economy: Theology and the Market

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Divine Economy: Theology and the Market

Article excerpt

Divine Economy: Theology and the Market. By D. Stephen Long. London and New York: Routledge, 2000. xii + 321 pp. $90.00 (cloth); $27.99 (paper).

Stephen Long, who teaches theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, has fashioned a complex hook that challenges not only traditional approaches to economy, currently and historically, but also rejects nearly all the approaches of Christian scholars who deal with economic matters. The problem, for Long, lies in the fact that most begin by asking the wrong question. That question is: how do I put theology and economics together? Economics and theology become co-equal interlocutors. Most often, the "truths" of economics are assumed and theology is brought on board to "critique."

What Long offers as an alternative is nothing less than to evaluate economics, and everything else, from the standpoint of theology. he writes: "theology has the task of evaluating the ends of all other discourses. That theology must evaluate the ends all other discourses serve cannot be maintained if economics is conceded a non-historical autonomous function" (p. 2). If theologians attempt to meet economists on the terms of economics, they sacrifice theology, he insists. Long's book begins with a rejection of many of the presuppositions with which economics begins, including the fact-value, is/ ought distinctions, and the imputation of a kind of timeless ahistoricity to economics.

His wide-ranging argument proceeds, in part 1, by evaluating theologians who, in his view, have conceded too much to economics by accepting a "Weberian strategy," including Michael Novak, Max Stackhouse, Ronald Preston, and Philip Wogaman. Christology is subordinated to some other good in the thinking of each, he claims. …

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