Tuesday 31 May 2005

Investment and faith

Back after a long hiatus. I heard an interesting paper at UNSW recently arguing that the rise of the Christian Right in America is based on two notions. The first is premillennial eschatology, whereby certain things need to take place in the world (especially in the Middle East) before Christ will return. The second is the strengthened connection between capitalism and Christianity. The speaker summarised this nicely as a shift from the Protestant work ethic to the evangelical investment ethic. Put briefly, debt becomes the tool by which a group can advance its cause in the world. This comes largely from the work of a Catholic economist, Michael Novak (for Novak here...against Novak here...general articles on Christianity and capitalism here and here).
On 15 August, former World Bank economist, Dr Michael Schluter, will give a CASE seminar on "Why the Bible bans interest, and what we can do about it" (more details soon). It should add something to the discussion!

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