Original essays by distinguished contributors from economics, religious ethics, and biblical studies
Religion and Economic Justice
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edited by Michael Zweig
As Eastern European economies move to capitalism, many people there hope for a better life. But capitalism is no guarantee of prosperity. Economic deprivation, war, social marginalization, and powerlessness mark the lives of millions and spark social movements for economic justice aimed at correcting these conditions. Often these movements are based in religious communities, their activists motivated by religious commitment to human dignity and the need for personal empowerment. Although the new theology contains an economic critique, little dialogue has taken place between the religious and economic communities on matters of economic analysis. Religion and Economic Justice seeks to develop this exchange.
This book contains original essays by distinguished contributors from economics, religious ethics, and biblical studies. The authors provide a powerful critique of the individualism which underlies mainstream economic analysis and which fragments our communities, a critique that extends to the values implicit in the market system. The authors also show how social marginalization and economic deprivation are the consequences of economic organization, not simply the failings of individuals.
"This collection of essays seeks to effect a junction between religiously based and Marxist critiques of the present economy and represents usefully a significant strand of critical thought."
"The essays are all substantive, from prominent writers.... What is best about the book is its focus on new developments between theology and economic life and its fresh thoughts on the changes in theory and policy that we need."
Part I: Terms for a Dialogue
Part II: Religious Perspectives on Economic Justice
Part III: Structures of Modern Capitalism
Part IV: Political Implication
Michael Zweig is Professor of Economics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Contributors: Gregory Baum, Samuel Bowles, Pamela K. Brubacker, J. Baird Callicott, Herbert Gintis, Norman K. Gottwald, Francis Moore Lappé, Michael Lerner, Amata Miller, IHM, Ann Seidman, and the editor.