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The Two Pillars of the Market

A Paradigm for Dialogue between Theology and Economics


Jean Lee

Where is our economy heading? Have we lost something valuable in the human quest for efficiency and perpetual growth? What human qualities are being eroded as we rely on the modern market mechanism to coordinate our daily lives? This book poses a theological challenge to contemporary economic life through a re-discovery of the historical roots of the theological covenant in society. The author places the covenant in contrast with the contract, exploring the distinction between the two concepts, their significance and their interaction in the economic market. The result is a new proposal – the ‘Two Pillars’ paradigm – that challenges the fundamentals of modern economics and promotes the idea of a balanced market which allows for genuine human relationships, freedom and economic justice. The author illustrates the practical use of the paradigm through the example of long-term employment arrangements, and applies it as a basis for dialogue with scholars ranging from Adam Smith to modern-day economists.
Contents: The Covenant Concept in Response to Society and the Economic Order – The Covenantal Federalism of Johannes Althusius – Universality, Content and Relevance of the Covenant – The Two Pillars Paradigm: A Dialogical Framework – Covenant and Contract: A Two Pillars Paradigm for the Market – Illustration of the Two Pillars Paradigm in Long-Term Employment Arrangements – Theology and Economics in Dialogue.