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This paper explores what the Christian theological tradition offers to economic questions and reflects on its relevance for the future evolution of global capitalism.
This paper will critically explore how a theological perspective can shed new light on issues relating to markets, capitalism, consumerism, wealth, poverty, inequality and growth. Drawing upon a wide range of resources, including the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures, historical and contemporary writings of theologians, church reports and Catholic social teaching, the paper will explore important moral and ethical considerations concerning the influence and operation of markets and in particular, the functioning of these markets within the prevailing global capitalistic paradigm. Originally taught in January 2013, soon after the full impacts of the Global Financial Crisis began to be felt in Aotearoa New Zealand, this ‘resurrected’ paper will be particularly relevant in 2021 (and beyond) as the economic challenges posed by COVID-19 and climate change, in threatening the stability of the status quo political-economic paradigm, offers opportunities for new and alternative economic thinking and practices.
|Paper title||Special Topic: Theology, Money and Markets|
|Subject||Christian Thought and History|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1
Semester 1 (On campus)
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$913.95|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$4,073.40|
- 36 100-level points
- CHTH 334, CHTX 334
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music, Theology
- May not be credited together with CHTH335 taken in 2021
- More information link
For more information, visit the Theology website: www.otago.ac.nz/theology
- Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Andrew Shepherd
- Paper Structure
Topics covered will include:
Module 1 – Historical Reflections
- Session 1: Theology and Economics – an introduction
- Session 2: The Bible and Economics – Torah and the Prophets
- Session 3: The Bible and Economics – Jesus and the Gospels; The Early Church and the New Testament
- Session 4: Historical Theology – Early Church Fathers, Medieval Period and the Reformation
- Sessions 5: Historical Theology – The Rise of Capitalism and the ‘Acquisitive Society’
Module 2 – Contemporary Challenges
- Session 6: The Total Economy’: Global Capitalism and its (Dis)contents
- Session 7: A Pound of Flesh’: Credit-Interest-Debt
- Session 8: Fractured Societies: Inequality and its Implications
- Session 9: A Sick Planet: Climate Change & Ecological Limits
- Session 10: Surveillance Capitalism: Technology & Commodification
Module 3 – Responses
- Session 11: Democratising and Reforming Institutions
- Session 12: The Church as Alternative Economy
- Online discussions (20%)
- Creative Biblical-Theological Apologetic (30%)
- Research Essay (50%)
- Teaching Arrangements
This is a distance-taught paper. Wellington-based students will be able to join the lecture at the Anglican Centre; Dunedin students can meet in one of the AV suites on campus. Students elsewhere can join the videoconferences via Zoom.
There is no compulsory textbook for this paper.
- Course outline
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking,
Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
Students completing this paper will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of how key biblical motifs can relate to contemporary economic discourse.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution made to economic ethical concerns by selected Christian writers.
3. Outline a theological ethical framework for engaging with economic concerns.
4. Offer a critical and creative theological analysis of a contemporary economic concern/issue.
5. Demonstrate analytical, interpretative and critical skills by engagement with scholarly texts.
6. Demonstrate research skills.
7. Demonstrate written and oral communication skills.