College Principal Jesse Zink has written a new article for The Anglican Theological Review reviewing several recent books about religion and the economy. A key question in these books is whether economic relations in western society have come to constitute another form of religion. He writes:
The financial crisis of 2008 sparked a number of significant debates about the nature and shape of economic power. The outsized role of “too big to fail” banks and the growing concentration of political and economic power have been the subject of much of our discourse. Christians and others have asked what it means to live in a world in which economics and property increasingly affect more forms of relationships. A recent set of books adds a new perspective to questions about the dominance of market-oriented thinking by asking a novel question: Has the market become a god? In other words, do our patterns of economic relationship resemble a set of religious beliefs and practices?
In the essay, Zink engages with recent works by Harvey Cox, Justin Welby, Michael Sandel, Scott Gustafson and others to consider these questions. He writes in conclusion:
Perhaps the great gift of these books is the reminder of the importance
of thinking and acting theologically in response to the crisis the Western world faces…. Moral and spiritual values do have a place in public debate, and the essential interrelatedness of all of God’s creation must be repeatedly reaffirmed in the face of a counterfeit religion, and even a new god that teaches otherwise.
You can read the whole article online. (Click on this text.) And you can access the entire edition on the ATR’s website. Dio is a supporting institution of the ATR and we are grateful for their longstanding ministry to the wider church.