JustShare Lecture on Christian Social & Political Thought:
‘What do the Pope and the Archbishop say about the economic crisis?’
The Revd Dr John Hughes, University of Cambridge
We welcomed Dr Hughes for a fascinating and insightful lecture comparing the views of the Pope and the Archbishop on the economic crisis. You can download Dr Hughes' text here, and below is his summary to whet your appetite. You can also watch live film clips here.
"Both the Pope and the Archbishop agree:
(1) that economics, like all human activity, is inescapably ethical, it cannot be left simply to the purely technical judgements of economists and financiers, nor to the supposedly self-regulating, morally neutral operations of the market.
Both see the crisis as (2) at least in part the result of a failure to recognise this, leading to endemic cultures of irresponsibility and short-termism which neglect human flourishing, not just amongst demonised bankers, but just as much in politicians and the consumer populations which elect them.
Both the Archbishop and the Pope see the crisis as also due (3) to the emergence of a new economic situation through the rapid processes of globalisation, which requires the development of new ethical strategies and systems.
Both figures formulate the ethical demand for the global economy in terms of (4) care for the weakest, economic democracy or mutualism, and care for the environment which sustains us.
Finally (5) both see these ethical demands as bound up with larger questions, beyond the purely material and economic, about what it is to be human."
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