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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 andcontemporary 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.

    About this paper

    Paper title Special Topic: Theology, Money and Markets
    Subject Christian Thought and History
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    36 100-level points
    CHTH 334, CHTX 334
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology
    May not be credited together with CHTH335 taken in 2021

    Dr Andrew Shepherd

    Teaching staff

    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
    • Session 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 2023
    • 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

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

    Campus: One two-hour lecture each week
    Distance: The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely withone two-hour lecture per week. Distance students participate in the campusclasses via Zoom. Students who are unable to join classes can watchrecordings at a later time.


    There are no compulsory textbooks for this paper.

    Course outline

    View the latest 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 who successfully complete the paper will:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of how key biblical motifs can relate to contemporary economic discourse.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution made to economic ethical concerns by selected Christian writers.
    • Outline a theological ethical framework for engaging with economic concerns.
    • Offer a critical and creative theological analysis of a contemporary economic concern/issue.
    • Demonstrate analytical, interpretative and critical skills by engagement with scholarly texts.
    • Demonstrate research skills.
    • Demonstrate written and oral communication skills.


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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