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CHTH335 Special Topic: Theology, Money and Markets (Advanced)

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.

Paper title Special Topic: Theology, Money and Markets (Advanced)
Paper code CHTH335
Subject Christian Thought and History
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level points
CHTH 334, CHTX 334
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with CHTH235 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 with one two-hour lecture per week. Distance students participate in the campus classes via Zoom. Students who are unable to join classes can watch recordings 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.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 12:00-13:50 9-14, 16, 18-22