Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I have expanded a 'Westminster Watch' column I wrote for this month's Third Way magazine (which is devoted to Christian social ethics, culture and society), in order to look at the economics, politics and theology of thinking and acting our way beyond the global credit and banking crunch. There's an excerpt below. The full article is: Seeking to build a just economy.

"Markets per se are not the issue [..] The greedy, one-sided and shortsighted assumptions and systems that markets are often embedded in are the problem. And those can be changed. Fatalism about this is not, despite its pretensions, realism. And reality is more intriguing, open and multivalent than many self-styled ‘realists’ allow. It’s always worth asking, “which kind of realism are you seeing as contradicting a radical (to-the-roots) Christian hope, and does its version of ‘reality’ include the transformation wrought by the Gospel?" Or is this something the church has simply filtered out in its attempts to appear ‘credible’ to those who dismiss its message?

"In political terms, the challenge, as theologian Jurgen Moltmann acutely pointed out some years ago in his book The Future of Creation, is that a qualitatively different social and economic order cannot be imagined purely on the basis of the one that now exists. It requires a stretching of our current capacities and therefore has to be critically envisioned, spiritually dared, and practically edged towards from a position of faithful agnosis. We see darkly, but we still press forward."

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