By September 20, 2015 Read More →

The Economy

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Capitalism is the dominant economic ideology of the 21st century and defines the way of life for most people in our planet to larger or lesser degree. Understanding capitalism is imperative for understanding our world.

For some it is a negative word and for others it is the source and means of all that is really good in our world. There is more to capitalism than mere economic facts and figures. No single simple definition that can capture the whole of what capitalism is because it is a complex historical-cultural phenomenon. In different countries from the USA to China it is manifests itself in a variety of different ways and therefore studying about this vast topic will remain a challenge but hopefully the four Units in this Module will be both informative and constructive.

Capitalism is strictly defined as the economic system that seeks to maximize financial return on the use of capital. However, a wider understanding includes property rights, limited role for government, and free-enterprise economy, which has been a force for good and has played a part in lifting millions of people around the world out of poverty.

Capitalism has flourished best under the rule of law, transparent market relations, and a Judeo-Christian culture – especially one which places moral restraints on excessive greed and encourages social solidarity. In the past capitalism as a system has served the common good. However, the 2007-08 financial crisis came after two decades of dismantling many of the legal and moral restraints, and as the reckless pursuit of capital-returns in impersonal global financial markets got out of hand, it threatened to jeopardize the entire global financial system. This does not mean we must outright reject capitalism. We believe if the deployment of capital is built on biblical principles and right relationships it can promote economic well-being, financial stability and social cohesion. As Dr. Michael Schluter keeps saying about capitalism, “no rewards without responsibility, no investment without involvement and no profit without participation.”

The learning objectives for this Module are, understanding capitalism, critiquing it from a Biblical perspective, looking at ways capitalism has gone wrong particularly as it pertains to issues of debt and interest, and finally considering how new kinds of capital markets in enterprise  economies can be built on the foundations of Relational Thinking.

Learning Objectives:

  1. What is capitalism?
  2. A biblical critique of capitalism
  3. Capitalism gone wrong
  4. Issues of debt and interest
  5. Wealth creation and the common good
  6. Relational company as a response to capitalism

Happy learning!

To begin with, watch the introductory video with Dr. Paul Mills explaining some of the broad themes and issues you will learn about in The Economy module.

Posted in: 2 Economy Module

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