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A Christian Critique of Economics

A Christian Critique of Economics BUDDHIST AND CHRISTIAN VIEWS OF ECONOMICS Carol Johnston Christian Theological Seminary INTRODUCTION: A WORD ABOUT HISTORY Contrary to the assertions of many contemporary economists, no economic model is "value-free." Both of the major models in the world today, capitalism (or neoclassical economic theory) and Marxism (or Marxian economics), have a long history in which basic assumptions and value choices were made that govern the models. Those assumptions and value choices have deep roots in Western culture, and were certainly shaped by Christianity as it has been practiced in the West (as opposed, often, to how it should have been practiced!). But in both cases, alternative choices were possible, and, as we shall see, some opportunities were missed. However, it is not my purpose to attempt to determine to what extent Christianity can be blamed or credited with the economics we must live with today. Rather, I hope to examine economics from the perspective of my Christian faith to ask how the economic models so powerful today have missed (or worked against) crucial elements of Jewish and Christian standards of justice, and how they might be transformed to create economies that are healthier for human and natural communities, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

A Christian Critique of Economics

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
Publisher site
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Abstract

BUDDHIST AND CHRISTIAN VIEWS OF ECONOMICS Carol Johnston Christian Theological Seminary INTRODUCTION: A WORD ABOUT HISTORY Contrary to the assertions of many contemporary economists, no economic model is "value-free." Both of the major models in the world today, capitalism (or neoclassical economic theory) and Marxism (or Marxian economics), have a long history in which basic assumptions and value choices were made that govern the models. Those assumptions and value choices have deep roots in Western culture, and were certainly shaped by Christianity as it has been practiced in the West (as opposed, often, to how it should have been practiced!). But in both cases, alternative choices were possible, and, as we shall see, some opportunities were missed. However, it is not my purpose to attempt to determine to what extent Christianity can be blamed or credited with the economics we must live with today. Rather, I hope to examine economics from the perspective of my Christian faith to ask how the economic models so powerful today have missed (or worked against) crucial elements of Jewish and Christian standards of justice, and how they might be transformed to create economies that are healthier for human and natural communities, and

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 8, 2002

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