How are the churches to say anything useful about the market economy which is so dominant in everybody’s life today? Too often, Christian responses have failed to take the moral arguments for markets seriously enough. The market’s assertions of liberal individualism and the impossibility of agreement about distributional justice undermine much Christian comment and church practice.
Old divisions within Christian ethics offer little help. Liberal theologies share so many foundations with the market that their critique has been muted or incoherent. Yet communitarian theologies, currently in the ascendancy, show little interest in economics and are not alert to the central dilemmas which markets seek to address.
The book critiques much of the churches’ recent work on economic issues and proposes a renewed theological seriousness for mission in the economy, where the Christian faith might contribute authentically to moral agreement in a plural age.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2004. 321 pp.
Contents: The Churches’ Engagement with the Economy in Britain since the Second World War – A Framework Drawn from McIntyre
– Markets, Morals and Communities – The Liberal Tradition in Social Theology – Communitarian and Confessional Approaches to
Social Theology – Reviewing Liberal and Communitarian Theologies – Dialogic Traditionalism: An Emerging Theological Model
– Reconsidering Practice – Reconstructing the Churches’ Engagement with the Economy.