Business & Economy

Evangelicals, Pope Benedict, and the Financial Crisis

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Paul Williams

This article is a response to the Caritas in Veritate encyclical issued by Pope Benedict XVI and draws heavily upon discussions that took place at the God and the Global Economy conference put on by Cardus and the Marketplace Institute. The article primarily focuses on issues concerning finance and capital markets. Paul Williams begins with a review of recent evangelical reflections on economics in relation to Catholic thought before highlighting major points that arose at the conference. Key points at the conference include the significant common ground between Catholics and evangelicals, including the theological framing of economics and the support of markets as an institutional structure. Williams then lays out a few disagreements with the encyclical and offers alternative policy proposals that would account for these differences. Williams summarizes the conference in stating that the participants were “pro‐enterprise, pro‐market, and skeptical of state power. However, they are also skeptical of the power of big business, critical of the orientation of financial markets and institutions, highly critical of a debt‐based economy, and increasingly confident in Scripture to provide wisdom that will yield specific and quite radical policy proposals.” What readers may find most interesting about this article are examples on how one’s theological beliefs can be translated into public policy recommendations.

Source: Review of Faith and International Affairs

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