Having: Property and Possession in Religious and Social Life

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004 - Social Science - 415 pages
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The last few decades have witnessed the expansion of market economies into a complex global system. From shantytowns in Africa and rural villages around the Black Sea to the high-tech worlds of Tokyo, Berlin, and New York City, no place on the planet has escaped this development. While the present conditions of economic life are unique to our time, the human impulses that stand behind them are not. People have always negotiated life in economic terms, constituting much of their personal and social identity in relation to the things they possess.

What, if anything, might religious studies and theological reflection contribute to thinking about and responding to the basic human reality of bhavingb? The engaging inquiries found in this volume provide some answers. Distinct from books taking purely economic, political, or social-scientific approaches to the subject, this book uses resources from the biblical traditions to throw fresh light on the role of property and possessions in cultural processes. Well-known scholars from a variety of fields (theology, ethics, economics, and biblical studies) explore in new and penetrating ways how people find value in having things, and how having things, in turn, gives value to social life. Their work will interest anyone grappling with issues of ownership and consumerism in todaybs global age.

Contributors: Claudia V. Camp
Jean Bethke Elshtain
Jonathan R. Gangle
David M. Gunn
Christine Firer Hinze
Arjo Klamer
David E. Klemm
Charles Mathewes
Deirdre McCloskey
Patrick D. Miller
Margaret M. Mitchell
Andreas Schuele
William Schweiker
Kathryn Tanner
Gunter Thomas
Michael Welker

  

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Contents

Property and Possession in Light of the Ten Commandments
17
Love Law and the Ethics
51
The Body and Projects of SelfPossession
141
What Is Enough? Catholic Social Thought
162
On Using the World
189
The Paradox of Property and Possession
222
Reconsidering Greed
249
Avarice Prudence and the Bourgeois Virtues
312
The Moral Economy of Ownership
337
Economies of Grace
353
Bibliographic Resources on Property
383
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

William Schwieker is Director of the Martin Marty Center and Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Theological Ethics in the Divinity School, University of Chicago. He is the author of "Mimetic Reflections: A Study in Hermeneutics, Theology and Ethics" (1990); "Responsibility and Christian Ethics" (1995); "Power, Value and Conviction: Theological Ethics in the Postmodern Age" (1998); and "Theological Ethics and Global Dynamics: In the Time of Many Worlds" (2004). He has published numerous articles and award-winning essays, as well as edited and contributed to five volumes on moral theory and hermeneutics.

Charles T. Mathewes is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he teaches theology, ethics, and religion and culture. He has published in The Journal of Religious Ethics, Modern Theology, The Journal of Religion, Anglican Theological Review and The Hedgehog Review.

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