Friday, May 20, 2016

Samuel Gregg and David B. Hart on Global Capitalism

For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good, by Samuel Gregg
The Crossroad Publishing Company, 300 pgs.

From Christianity’s very beginning, it has had a difficult relationship with the world of money. Through developing sophisticated understandings of the nature and wealth-creating capacity of capital, Christian theologians, philosophers, and financiers exerted considerable influence upon the emergence and development of the international financial systems that helped unleash a revolution in the way the world thinks about and uses capital. In For God and Profit, Samuel Gregg underscores the different ways in which Christians have helped to develop the financial and banking systems that have helped millions escape poverty for hundreds of years. But he also provides a critical lens through which to assess the workings—and failures—of modern finance and banking. Far from being doomed to producing economic instability and periodic financial crises, Gregg illustrates that how Christian faith and reason can shape financial practices and banking institutions in ways that restore integrity to our troubled financial systems.

“For God and Profit is a formidable book, packed with interesting and regularly unacknowledged and unknown historical information, especially about the contribution of Christian thinking to the development of banking, the rise of the markets and Western prosperity. It is also closely argued with Christian and natural law categories of right and wrong being used to evaluate the economies and financial systems of today and yesterday." — Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Vatican City

“Christians have long been suspicious of the worlds of finance and capital. But Samuel Gregg has produced just the book we need. It is ecumenical, patient in explaining concepts and practices that Christians of all confessions should know, characterized by logic and clear moral analysis, and attentive to the contributions made by Christians throughout history to the development of modern finance systems. At a time when finance not only seems bereft of a moral compass but also to be lurching from crisis to crisis, this is a book sorely needed by Christians today." — Michael Novak, author, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

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