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.