John Lloyd in the FT: What is it all for?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The values and disciplines underpinning our societies' massive accumulation of wealth were largely Judaeo-Christian. But for most, the religious part has been privatised, confined to individual observance or simply ignored. Neither Christianity, as it developed in the centuries after the Reformation, nor Judaism stigmatised wealth (Islam has a more complex attitude to capitalism still) - so long as it was virtuously acquired and used for the benefit of others.

That caveat - on virtuous acquisition and charitable giving - is crucial. The virtues of hard work, orderly life and honest dealing inculcated by religion - the life cultivated by the Gabriels - have been put to service to create once-unimaginable riches. Now that such accumulation is seen as an expression more of greed than of virtue, will there be a turning back to the values that produced the preconditions for the making of the money?

It was not much in evidence when times were good.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 27, 2008 at 3:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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