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Compassionate Economics:
Can It Go Viral?
Jesus, Paul, and James as
Postmodern Economists: Can
Their Vision Go Viral?
Compassionate Economics:
Can It Go Viral?
3
some preliminary thoughts
apology & plea
modern economy
modern economy:
extractive - industrial -
colonial - consumerist
modern economy:
extractive - industrial -
colonial - consumerist
“free market/capitalist” form
“regulated/socialist” form
right wing market capitalist - “market”
forces are inherently good; government
regulation is evil intruder
left wing market capitalist - “market” forces
are ambiguous, dangerous; government
regulation is needed
In a market economy, [Karl] Polanyi said:
"... instead of the economic system being
embedded in social relationships, these
relationships were now embedded in the
economic system" (1968, 70)
economy
society
economy
environmentsociety
environmentsociety
“The economy is
a wholly owned
subsidiary of the
environment, not
the reverse.”
economy
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Post/Modern Economy =
Post-extractive --> Regenerative
Post-industrial --> Digital/Service/Recycling
Post-colonial --> Local/Global/Fair Trade
Post-consumerist --> Steady State
Triple Bottom Line: economic,
environmental, social benefit
Herman Daley
“There is something fundamentally
wrong in treating the Earth as if it
were a business in liquidation.”
Herman Daley
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
“Malthus has been buried many
times.... But as Garrett Hardin
remarked, anyone who has to be
reburied so often cannot be entirely
dead.”
Herman Daley
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
“If nonsatiety were the natural state of human
nature then aggressive want-stimulating
advertising would not be necessary, nor
would the barrage of novelty aimed at
promoting dissatisfaction with last year's
model. The system attempts to remake people
to fit its own presuppositions. If people's
wants are not naturally insatiable we must
make them so, in order to keep the system
going.”
“Growth economics gave technology free rein.
Steady-state economics channels technical
progress in the socially benign directions of
small scale, decentralization, increased
durability of products, and increased long-
run efficiency in the use of scarce resources.”
17
18
value
Rene Girard:
Desire is
contagious.
We “catch” our
desires from
others.
20
Feeding Frenzy
Feeding Frenzy
What others
value, we will
value.
What we value,
others will
value.
“Value does not reside in objects. It
is produced by human beings acting
in concert with one another. It has
the character, in other words, of an
institution.”
- Andre Orleans, The Empire of
Value
Value is not an objective reality.
Value is not a subjective reality.
Value is an intersubjective reality.
We make value together - by agreeing
something is desirable.
Value is not an objective reality.
Value is not a subjective reality.
Value is an intersubjective reality.
We make value together - by agreeing
something is desirable.
Religion is, among other things, a community
that consciously creates an intersubjective
reality of value ... often in resistance to values
created by other institutions.
26
scarcity, needs, wants
27
Paul Dumouchel: “The Ambivalence
of Scarcity”
In our economy/society, the more you
have ... the more you feel you need.
As your standard of living increases,
your desires increase.
You never run out of scarcity!
28
Paul Dumouchel: “The Ambivalence
of Scarcity”
“Peace does not follow from
abundance, and war is not a
consequence of poverty.”
wealth
My wife, Grace, is a real estate agent.
One of her clients (who already owns
many houses and properties) recently
said to her:
“I’m not rich. There’s that vacant lot
that I want to buy, and I can’t afford
it right now.”
Riches/Wealth = ability to acquire
whatever I desire immediately.
Riches/Wealth = ability to acquire
whatever I desire immediately.
This definition allows people to be
rich without ever feeling rich, since
the more one has, the more one
desires, and the more one desires, the
more lack one feels.
Thus everyone has an
inexhaustible supply of scarcity
and poverty.
An African Friend:
You Westerners think you are rich when you
have extra money that you can put in the bank.
When we have extra money, we throw a party
and invite all our friends. We put our wealth in
our neighbor’s belly, because a neighbor who
will be there for you is worth more than money.
You could say that for us, our neighbor is our
bank, and the interest we get is our neighbor’s
good will.
False Wealth:
Converting free long term common assets
(fertile land, clean air, clean water, diverse
ecosystems) into short-term private liquid
assets.
35
status/success/
prestige
In placing the struggle for prestige at the heart of
consumer motivation... it now becomes possible
to explain the phenomenon of perpetual scarcity
as the result of a deliberate and relentless effort
to acquire new badges of distinction. This is the
price that everyone must pay in order to
maintain, if not also improve, his position on the
social ladder.” - Mark Anspach (Desired
Possessions, 187)
Scarcity is a specific form of social
organization, created by the market,
that makes each person’s status
depend, to a degree that is unknown
in nonmarket societies, on his
ability to acquire objects by
himself, without assistance from
others. Yet the individual liberty
and independence that characterize
this state of affairs can also take the
form of solitude and exclusion.
Market actors are not in fact closed in on
themselves in the manner of homo
ceconomicus; instead, they exist in a state of
abiding rivalry with others. As members of a
group they seek, through the purchase of what
they take to be useful goods, to increase their
relative prestige, which is to say their power
over others. This assumption profoundly alters
our view of the individual’s relationship to
commodities.
Mark Anspach, Desired Possessions *187)
In a Market Society/Economy ...
Status/Prestige = ability to
immediately acquire new objects of
desire/badges of distinction by
oneself, without assistance from
others, and in comparison to (or
rivalry with) others.
In a Pre-Market
Society/Economy ...
Status/Prestige = ability to be just
and give generously to others.
Wealth = what one gains by being
part of a community dedicated to
justice and mutual generosity.
The word prestige comes from a Latin word
meaning ...
a conjuring trick.
42
inequality
Hence the deep ambivalence of market
isolation: so far from being considered
unjust, a society in which a part of the
population knows privation, hunger, and
disease, while others have much more than
they need to live in relative health and
comfort, is regarded as the natural
expression of a rational economic order. Pre-
market societies, accustomed to assigning
worth to persons as social beings, would
have found such an attitude shocking. But
this is what scarcity really amounts to.” -
Andre Orlean, The Empire of Value (p. 88)
After the Kenyan post-election tribal conflict several
years ago, a Kenyan justice activist was asked what
tribe he was from. He replied, “I am not ashamed of
my tribal heritage, and it is part of who I am. But
really, there are really only two tribes in the world: the
elite have’s and the masses of have-not’s. Suffice it to
say that I am from the elite tribe of the have’s, and I
have decided to use my privilege for the benefit of the
have-not’s.”
The Modern Market Economy requires inequality as an
expression of justice in the universe, to show that “the
invisible hand” of the market appropriately rewards the
deserving elites and punishes the undeserving masses.
To preserve this economic orthodoxy against all
evidence, elites must create weapons of mass distraction
to keep the have-not’s mystified, divided, dependent,
amused, pacified, co-opted, and compliant.
Dave Chappelle
47
In the past I used to tell a lot of jokes about white people.
And I know there are a lot of white people here with us
tonight. When I say jokes about white people, don’t think
for a second that I’m talking about you. Don’t forget I had
almost 50 million dollars once. When you make enough
money in America they’ll pull back the curtain and
introduce you to the real white people. You guys just think
you’re white.
- dave chappelle
poverty, war, and economy
If Girard was right
about mimesis and the
scapegoating
mechanism ...
An unregulated market
economy needs
a) An underclass
b) Periodic wars
An underclass is
necessary to
reward winners
in the rivalry for
prestige.
Wars are necessary to
periodically purge the
tensions that rise in
rivalry-based
economies, and to
periodically unite rivals
against a common
external enemy or
internal scapegoat.
modern economy as religion
We may conclude by proposing that this belief
itself serves a religious purpose. As [Karl]
Polanyi observes, the market illusion leaves the
individual magically "free from all
responsibility for... economic suffering in
society" (2001, 266). - From Mark Anspach,
“Desired Possessions” 187
Perhaps it is no coincidence that for Western
colonial Christianity, the essence of the
religion is not love, not reconciliation, not the
pursuit of justice, joy, and peace ... but
forgiveness.
Perhaps a forgiveness market is the essential
product of Christianity in an exploitive colonial
market.
"The mechanism which the motive of gain set
in motion was comparable in effectiveness,"
Polanyi remarks, "only to the most violent
outbursts of religious fervor in history"
(2001,31).
And this suggests a final thought. As the cult
of the market now spreads throughout the
developing world, awakening desires to
possess the desired possessions of others
without making such possessions readily
available, those who find themselves excluded
from the ranks of the elect will naturally turn
to more traditional forms of faith. What is the
violent outburst of religious fervor afflicting
so many nations today if not a backlash
against the religion of the market at the very
moment of its apparent planetary triumph?
- Mark Anspach (187)
Perhaps certain lanes of the religious
superhighway can be understood alternative
prestige markets as well. When people are
excluded from, drop out, or opt out of the
competitive market economy, religious
communities may provide different ways of
gaining prestige ... through religious
lore/knowledge, piety, skill in prayer, zeal in
condemning heretics or sinners, etc.
The Religion of the Invisible Hand declares
that the means of gaining wealth are amoral.
Donation/charity is moral.
Thus charity absolves donors of any moral
responsibility for how their wealth was gained
or for consequences of the system on which
they depend. “Don’t question our way of
acquiring wealth,” the robber baron says, “and
we will reward you with gifts from our
excess.”
The Religion of the Invisible Hand is, for
billions of people, the Religion of the Invisible
Foot that tramples their dignity ...
The Religion of the Invisible Hand is, for
earth’s ecosystems, the Religion of the Visible
Fist that steals, kills, and destroys.
We write “In God We Trust” upon the god in
which we trust.
the Bible and economics
Exodus = the primary biblical narrative
about liberation from an oppressive
pyramidal economy with a few living in
luxury at the top and many living in
misery at the bottom.
Slavery = a person becomes a
depersonalized means for other
persons to achieve their desires
Jubilee = a resetting of the economic
system so that the depersonalized can
become persons again ...
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Our Predicament:
1. Planet
2. Poverty
3. Peace
4. Religion
Our current economic system
produces ...
Ecological suicide
Systems of, by, and for the 1%
War/Terrorism/Counterterrorism
Religious insanity
Societal Machine
Equity Security
Prosperity
The Ecosystem
Heat
Solar Energy
Resources
Waste
Societal Machine
Equity Security
Prosperity
The Ecosystem
Heat
Solar Energy
Resources
Waste
Framing Story
Societal Machine
Equity Security
Prosperity
Heat
Solar Energy
Resources
Waste
Framing Story/
Ideology
Religions are supposed to provide a
framing story and creative community
capable of guiding people into justice,
peace, and joy.
Instead, our world religions can usually
be found
Distracting their followers from the big
issues
Exhausting/Amusing their followers
into passivity
Boring their followers into apathy
Promoting framing stories/ideologies
that make things worse ...
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Jesus, Paul, &
James as
postmodern
economists
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Jesus as
postmodern
economist
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, 
returned to Galilee, and a report about him 
spread through all the surrounding country. 15
He 
began to teach in their synagogues and was 
praised by everyone.
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had 
been brought up, he went to the synagogue on 
the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up 
to read, 17
and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was 
given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the 
place where it was written: 
18
 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
   because he has anointed me
     to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the 
captives
   and recovery of sight to the blind,
     to let the oppressed go free, 
19
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ 
20
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the 
attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the 
synagogue were fixed on him. 21
Then he began to 
say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been 
fulfilled in your hearing.’ 
16
Then Jesus*
 said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who 
had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this 
man was squandering his property. 2
So he summoned him 
and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give 
me an account of your management, because you cannot 
be my manager any longer.” 3
Then the manager said to 
himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the 
position away from me?  I am not strong enough to dig, 
and I am ashamed to beg. 4
I have decided what to do so 
that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may 
welcome me into their homes.”
 5
So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked 
the first, “How much do you owe my master?” 6
He 
answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him, 
“Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.” 7
Then he 
asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A 
hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your 
bill and make it eighty.” 8
And his master commended the 
dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the 
children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their 
own generation than are the children of light. 9
And I tell 
you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest 
wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into 
the eternal homes.
Blessed are the poor ...
Blessed are the poor in spirit ... 
(those in solidarity with the poor)
Do not lay up for yourselves 
treasures on earth ... but lay up for 
yourselves treasures in heaven.
You cannot serve two masters ... God 
and Mammon.
Forgive us our debts ...
Forgive us our trespasses ...
... as we forgive ...
Behold the lilies of the field ... Behold 
the birds of the air ...
Be perfect (compassionate) as your 
Father in heaven is perfect 
(compassionate).
Love your neighbor as yourself ...
Love your enemy ... (competitor?)
Miracle of multiplication in small self-
organizing groups ...
Encounter with rich young ruler ...
Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s ... 
and to God what is God’s.
Stewards as mid-level functionaries.
Note Luke’s themes in Acts ...
“all things in common”
“no one in need”
old markers of elitism eliminated
“It is better to give than to receive.”
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Paul as economist
8 I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the 
genuineness of your love against the earnestness of 
others. 9
For you know the generous act of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes 
he became poor, so that by his poverty you might 
become rich. 10
And in this matter I am giving my advice: 
it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to 
do something but even to desire to do something— 
11
now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be 
matched by completing it according to your means. 
12
For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable 
according to what one has—not according to what one 
does not have. 13
I do not mean that there should be 
relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question 
of a fair balance between 14
your present abundance and 
their need, so that their abundance may be for your 
need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15
As it is 
written,
‘The one who had much did not have too much,
   and the one who had little did not have too little.’
9
Now it is not necessary for me to write to you 
about the ministry to the saints, 2
for I know your 
eagerness, which is the subject of my boasting 
about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that 
Achaia has been ready since last year; and your 
zeal has stirred up most of them. 3
But I am 
sending the brothers in order that our boasting 
about you may not prove to have been empty in 
this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you 
would be; 
4
otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me 
and find that you are not ready, we would be 
humiliated—to say nothing of you—in this 
undertaking.*
 5
So I thought it necessary to urge 
the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange 
in advance for this bountiful gift that you have 
promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary 
gift and not as an extortion.
6 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly 
will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows 
bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7
Each of you 
must give as you have made up your mind, not 
reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a 
cheerful giver. 
8
And God is able to provide you with every
blessing in abundance, so that by always having
enough of everything, you may share abundantly
in every good work. 9
As it is written,
‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness*
endures for ever.’
10
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for
food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.*
11
You will be enriched in every way for your great
generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to
God through us; 12
for the rendering of this
ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints
but also overflows with many thanksgivings to
God.
Not that I am referring to being in need; for I
have learned to be content with whatever I have.
12
I know what it is to have little, and I know what
it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I
have learned the secret of being well-fed and of
going hungry, of having plenty and of being in
need. 13
I can do all things through him who
strengthens me. (Phil. 4:11 ff)
Of course, there is great gain in godliness
combined with contentment; 7
for we brought
nothing into the world, so that we can take
nothing out of it; 8
but if we have food and
clothing, we will be content with these. 9
But those
who want to be rich fall into temptation and are
trapped by many senseless and harmful desires
that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10
For
the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and
in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered
away from the faith and pierced themselves with
many pains. (1 Timothy 6:6 ff)
6 Now we command you, beloved,*
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to
keep away from believers who are*
living in idleness and not according to
the tradition that they*
received from us. 7
For you yourselves know how you
ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8
and we did
not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labour we
worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9
This was
not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example
to imitate. 10
For even when we were with you, we gave you this command:
Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11
For we hear that some of you
are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12
Now such
persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work
quietly and to earn their own living. 13
Brothers and sisters,*
do not be weary
in doing what is right. (2 Thess 3)
Philippians 2:1-11
2
If then there is any encouragement in
Christ, any consolation from love, any
sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and
sympathy, 2
make my joy complete:
be of the same mind,
having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or
conceit, but
in humility regard others as better than
yourselves.
4
Let each of you look not to your own
interests,
but to the interests of others.
Let this attitude/mind be
in you,
The attitude/mind of
Christ Jesus,
who, being in the image of God,
Did not count equality with God
Something to be grasped,
But he emptied himself,
By taking the very nature of a
servant,
Being made in human form,
And being found in human form,
He humbled himself.
He became obedient to the
point of death,
Even death upon a cross.
Therefore God exalted
him to the highest place.
God gave him the highest name
of all,
So that at Jesus’ name
All knees should bend,
All tongues confess,
That Jesus Christ is Lord
To the glory of God the Father,
... Who works in us to desire
And do God’s good pleasure.
That Jesus Christ is Lord
To the glory of God the Father,
... Who works in us to desire
And do God’s good pleasure.
acquisitive mimesis or mimetic kenosis?
Conventional View Emerging View
The Human
Situation: What
is the story that
we find
ourselves in?
God created the world as perfect,
but because our primal
ancestors, Adam and Eve, did
not maintain the absolute
perfection demanded by God,
God has irrevocably determined
that the entire universe and all it
contains will be destroyed, and
the souls of all human beings –
except for those specifically
exempted – will be forever
punished for their imperfection
in hell.1
God created the world as good, but
human beings – as individuals, and as
groups – have rebelled against God and
filled the world with evil and injustice
like a terrible disease. God wants to save
humanity and heal it from its sickness,
but humanity is hopelessly lost and
confused, like sheep without a shepherd,
wandering farther and farther into
lostness and danger. Left to themselves,
human beings will spiral downward in
sickness and evil.
Basic
Questions: What
questions did
Jesus come to
answer?
Since everyone is doomed to
hell, Jesus seeks to answer these
questions: how can individuals
be saved from eternal
punishment in hell and instead
go to heaven after they die? How
can God help individuals be
happy and successful until then?
Since the human race is in such desperate
trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this
question: what must be done about the
mess we’re in? The mess refers both to
the general human condition and its
specific outworking among his
contemporaries: living under domination
by the Roman empire, and divided into
various competing sects.
Jesus’ message:
How did Jesus
respond to the
crisis?
Jesus says, in essence, “If you
want to be among those
specifically qualified to escape
being forever punished for your
sins in hell, you must repent of
your individual sins and believe
that my Father punished me on
the cross so He won’t have to
punish you in hell. Only if you
believe this will you go to
heaven when everyone else is
banished to hell.”2
This is the
good news.
Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and
groups – including your own religious
leaders - are leading you farther and
farther astray. I have been sent by God
with this good news – that God loves
humanity, even in its lostness and sin.
God graciously invites everyone and
anyone to question and reject what they
have been told and instead follow a new
path. Trust me and become my disciple,
and you will be transformed, and you will
participate in the transformation of the
world, which is possible, beginning right
now.”3
This is the good news.
1
Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too,
plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious.
2
This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman
Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its
instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
James as
economist
2
My brothers and sisters,*
do you with your acts of
favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?*
2
For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes
into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes
also comes in, 3
and if you take notice of the one wearing the
fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please’, while to the
one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there’, or, ‘Sit at my feet’,*
4
have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and
become judges with evil thoughts? 5
Listen, my beloved
brothers and sisters.*
Has not God chosen the poor in the
world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that
he has promised to those who love him? 6
But you have
dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is
it not they who drag you into court? 7
Is it not they who
blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?
8 You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to
the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you?
Show by your good life that your works are done
with gentleness born of wisdom. 14
But if you have
bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do
not be boastful and false to the truth. 15
Such wisdom
does not come down from above, but is earthly,
unspiritual, devilish. 16
For where there is envy and
selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and
wickedness of every kind. 17
But the wisdom from
above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to
yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace
of partiality or hypocrisy. 18
And a harvest of
righteousness is sown in peace for*
those who make
peace.
4
Those conflicts and disputes among you, where
do they come from? Do they not come from your
cravings that are at war within you? 2
You want
something and do not have it; so you commit
murder. And you covet something and cannot
obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts.
You do not have, because you do not ask. 3
You
ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly,
in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.
4
Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with
the world is enmity with God?
5
Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the
miseries that are coming to you. 2
Your riches have
rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3
Your
gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be
evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh
like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last
days. 4
Listen! The wages of the labourers who
mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud,
cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have
reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5
You have
lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you
have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter.
6
You have condemned and murdered the righteous
one, who does not resist you.
Jesus, Paul, and James as
Postmodern Economists: Can
Their Vision Go Viral?
Compassionate Economics:
Can It Go Viral?
Follow me ... Love one another as I have loved
you ... I have set you an example ...
Imitate me as I imitate Christ ... Let the mind of
Christ be in you ... You know how we behaved
among you, as a mother tenderly nursing her
children ...
Show me your faith by your works ... show by
your good life ...
The Faith Community as
-- a community of resistance/exposure of
“prestige”/inter-subjective creation of value
-- a multi-generational succession of alternative
example and mentoring
-- a community of just and generous mimesis
-- an upholder of saints/elders/models
-- a community of witness to the “great
economy/earth economy” of “the kingdom of
God”
Movements begin as critical communities during
times of injustice and foolishness among elites.
Movements grow when the hegemony of elites is
disturbed ...
Movements diagnose and prescribe,
communicate and recruit effectively, and make
appropriate proposals and demands.
Abolition went viral.
Anti-animal cruelty went viral.
Anti-child labor went viral.
Desegregation/anti-apartheid went viral.
Anti-domestic violence went viral.
Equality for women went viral.
Non-violent resistance is going viral.
LGBT non-discrimination is going viral.
New understanding of economy, society,
environment
New understanding of desire
New understanding of wealth
New attitude toward scarcity
New intersubjective rendering of value
New undestanding of prestige, success, and
greatness
New revulsion toward inequality & war
Where does this new understanding lead in
practice?
Regenerative Economy: ESR and Triple Bottom
Line
Distributing Opportunity
Living Local Economies
Economic Activism
Collapse Avoidance & Recovery
117
God Who Creates, God Who Redeems,
God of shalom - of peace, God of sh'leimut - of wholeness,
We remember standing at the shore of the sea, afraid,
Our enslavers in hot pursuit, ready to take us back to
captivity.
We remember the tumultuous sea  before us that showed no
signs of parting.
And we remember you told us: v'yisa'u - go forward.
We stepped forth. The waters parted. 
We moved our bodies from slavery to freedom.
You moved our souls from oppression to redemption.
God who Creates, God who Redeems,
If it can happen once, it can happen over and over and over.
V'yisa'u.  
Let us cross the sea with all who are enslaved, with captors
on their heels.
And together, let us make those waters part!
- Rabbi Stephanie Kolin
Jesus, Paul, and James as
Postmodern Economists: Can
Their Vision Go Viral?
Compassionate Economics:
Can It Go Viral?

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Theology & Peace Presentation

  • 2. Jesus, Paul, and James as Postmodern Economists: Can Their Vision Go Viral? Compassionate Economics: Can It Go Viral?
  • 6. modern economy: extractive - industrial - colonial - consumerist
  • 7. modern economy: extractive - industrial - colonial - consumerist “free market/capitalist” form “regulated/socialist” form
  • 8. right wing market capitalist - “market” forces are inherently good; government regulation is evil intruder left wing market capitalist - “market” forces are ambiguous, dangerous; government regulation is needed
  • 9. In a market economy, [Karl] Polanyi said: "... instead of the economic system being embedded in social relationships, these relationships were now embedded in the economic system" (1968, 70)
  • 12. environmentsociety “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse.” economy
  • 13. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant Post/Modern Economy = Post-extractive --> Regenerative Post-industrial --> Digital/Service/Recycling Post-colonial --> Local/Global/Fair Trade Post-consumerist --> Steady State Triple Bottom Line: economic, environmental, social benefit Herman Daley
  • 14. “There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation.” Herman Daley
  • 15. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant “Malthus has been buried many times.... But as Garrett Hardin remarked, anyone who has to be reburied so often cannot be entirely dead.” Herman Daley
  • 16. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant “If nonsatiety were the natural state of human nature then aggressive want-stimulating advertising would not be necessary, nor would the barrage of novelty aimed at promoting dissatisfaction with last year's model. The system attempts to remake people to fit its own presuppositions. If people's wants are not naturally insatiable we must make them so, in order to keep the system going.” “Growth economics gave technology free rein. Steady-state economics channels technical progress in the socially benign directions of small scale, decentralization, increased durability of products, and increased long- run efficiency in the use of scarce resources.”
  • 17. 17
  • 19. Rene Girard: Desire is contagious. We “catch” our desires from others.
  • 22. What others value, we will value. What we value, others will value.
  • 23. “Value does not reside in objects. It is produced by human beings acting in concert with one another. It has the character, in other words, of an institution.” - Andre Orleans, The Empire of Value
  • 24. Value is not an objective reality. Value is not a subjective reality. Value is an intersubjective reality. We make value together - by agreeing something is desirable.
  • 25. Value is not an objective reality. Value is not a subjective reality. Value is an intersubjective reality. We make value together - by agreeing something is desirable. Religion is, among other things, a community that consciously creates an intersubjective reality of value ... often in resistance to values created by other institutions.
  • 27. 27 Paul Dumouchel: “The Ambivalence of Scarcity” In our economy/society, the more you have ... the more you feel you need. As your standard of living increases, your desires increase. You never run out of scarcity!
  • 28. 28 Paul Dumouchel: “The Ambivalence of Scarcity” “Peace does not follow from abundance, and war is not a consequence of poverty.”
  • 30. My wife, Grace, is a real estate agent. One of her clients (who already owns many houses and properties) recently said to her:
  • 31. “I’m not rich. There’s that vacant lot that I want to buy, and I can’t afford it right now.” Riches/Wealth = ability to acquire whatever I desire immediately.
  • 32. Riches/Wealth = ability to acquire whatever I desire immediately. This definition allows people to be rich without ever feeling rich, since the more one has, the more one desires, and the more one desires, the more lack one feels. Thus everyone has an inexhaustible supply of scarcity and poverty.
  • 33. An African Friend: You Westerners think you are rich when you have extra money that you can put in the bank. When we have extra money, we throw a party and invite all our friends. We put our wealth in our neighbor’s belly, because a neighbor who will be there for you is worth more than money. You could say that for us, our neighbor is our bank, and the interest we get is our neighbor’s good will.
  • 34. False Wealth: Converting free long term common assets (fertile land, clean air, clean water, diverse ecosystems) into short-term private liquid assets.
  • 36. In placing the struggle for prestige at the heart of consumer motivation... it now becomes possible to explain the phenomenon of perpetual scarcity as the result of a deliberate and relentless effort to acquire new badges of distinction. This is the price that everyone must pay in order to maintain, if not also improve, his position on the social ladder.” - Mark Anspach (Desired Possessions, 187)
  • 37. Scarcity is a specific form of social organization, created by the market, that makes each person’s status depend, to a degree that is unknown in nonmarket societies, on his ability to acquire objects by himself, without assistance from others. Yet the individual liberty and independence that characterize this state of affairs can also take the form of solitude and exclusion.
  • 38. Market actors are not in fact closed in on themselves in the manner of homo ceconomicus; instead, they exist in a state of abiding rivalry with others. As members of a group they seek, through the purchase of what they take to be useful goods, to increase their relative prestige, which is to say their power over others. This assumption profoundly alters our view of the individual’s relationship to commodities. Mark Anspach, Desired Possessions *187)
  • 39. In a Market Society/Economy ... Status/Prestige = ability to immediately acquire new objects of desire/badges of distinction by oneself, without assistance from others, and in comparison to (or rivalry with) others.
  • 40. In a Pre-Market Society/Economy ... Status/Prestige = ability to be just and give generously to others. Wealth = what one gains by being part of a community dedicated to justice and mutual generosity.
  • 41. The word prestige comes from a Latin word meaning ... a conjuring trick.
  • 43. Hence the deep ambivalence of market isolation: so far from being considered unjust, a society in which a part of the population knows privation, hunger, and disease, while others have much more than they need to live in relative health and comfort, is regarded as the natural expression of a rational economic order. Pre- market societies, accustomed to assigning worth to persons as social beings, would have found such an attitude shocking. But this is what scarcity really amounts to.” - Andre Orlean, The Empire of Value (p. 88)
  • 44. After the Kenyan post-election tribal conflict several years ago, a Kenyan justice activist was asked what tribe he was from. He replied, “I am not ashamed of my tribal heritage, and it is part of who I am. But really, there are really only two tribes in the world: the elite have’s and the masses of have-not’s. Suffice it to say that I am from the elite tribe of the have’s, and I have decided to use my privilege for the benefit of the have-not’s.”
  • 45. The Modern Market Economy requires inequality as an expression of justice in the universe, to show that “the invisible hand” of the market appropriately rewards the deserving elites and punishes the undeserving masses. To preserve this economic orthodoxy against all evidence, elites must create weapons of mass distraction to keep the have-not’s mystified, divided, dependent, amused, pacified, co-opted, and compliant.
  • 47. 47 In the past I used to tell a lot of jokes about white people. And I know there are a lot of white people here with us tonight. When I say jokes about white people, don’t think for a second that I’m talking about you. Don’t forget I had almost 50 million dollars once. When you make enough money in America they’ll pull back the curtain and introduce you to the real white people. You guys just think you’re white. - dave chappelle
  • 48. poverty, war, and economy
  • 49. If Girard was right about mimesis and the scapegoating mechanism ...
  • 50. An unregulated market economy needs a) An underclass b) Periodic wars
  • 51. An underclass is necessary to reward winners in the rivalry for prestige.
  • 52. Wars are necessary to periodically purge the tensions that rise in rivalry-based economies, and to periodically unite rivals against a common external enemy or internal scapegoat.
  • 53. modern economy as religion
  • 54. We may conclude by proposing that this belief itself serves a religious purpose. As [Karl] Polanyi observes, the market illusion leaves the individual magically "free from all responsibility for... economic suffering in society" (2001, 266). - From Mark Anspach, “Desired Possessions” 187
  • 55. Perhaps it is no coincidence that for Western colonial Christianity, the essence of the religion is not love, not reconciliation, not the pursuit of justice, joy, and peace ... but forgiveness. Perhaps a forgiveness market is the essential product of Christianity in an exploitive colonial market.
  • 56. "The mechanism which the motive of gain set in motion was comparable in effectiveness," Polanyi remarks, "only to the most violent outbursts of religious fervor in history" (2001,31).
  • 57. And this suggests a final thought. As the cult of the market now spreads throughout the developing world, awakening desires to possess the desired possessions of others without making such possessions readily available, those who find themselves excluded from the ranks of the elect will naturally turn to more traditional forms of faith. What is the violent outburst of religious fervor afflicting so many nations today if not a backlash against the religion of the market at the very moment of its apparent planetary triumph? - Mark Anspach (187)
  • 58. Perhaps certain lanes of the religious superhighway can be understood alternative prestige markets as well. When people are excluded from, drop out, or opt out of the competitive market economy, religious communities may provide different ways of gaining prestige ... through religious lore/knowledge, piety, skill in prayer, zeal in condemning heretics or sinners, etc.
  • 59. The Religion of the Invisible Hand declares that the means of gaining wealth are amoral. Donation/charity is moral. Thus charity absolves donors of any moral responsibility for how their wealth was gained or for consequences of the system on which they depend. “Don’t question our way of acquiring wealth,” the robber baron says, “and we will reward you with gifts from our excess.”
  • 60. The Religion of the Invisible Hand is, for billions of people, the Religion of the Invisible Foot that tramples their dignity ... The Religion of the Invisible Hand is, for earth’s ecosystems, the Religion of the Visible Fist that steals, kills, and destroys.
  • 61. We write “In God We Trust” upon the god in which we trust.
  • 62. the Bible and economics
  • 63. Exodus = the primary biblical narrative about liberation from an oppressive pyramidal economy with a few living in luxury at the top and many living in misery at the bottom. Slavery = a person becomes a depersonalized means for other persons to achieve their desires Jubilee = a resetting of the economic system so that the depersonalized can become persons again ...
  • 64. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
  • 65. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant Our Predicament: 1. Planet 2. Poverty 3. Peace 4. Religion
  • 66. Our current economic system produces ... Ecological suicide Systems of, by, and for the 1% War/Terrorism/Counterterrorism Religious insanity
  • 67. Societal Machine Equity Security Prosperity The Ecosystem Heat Solar Energy Resources Waste
  • 68. Societal Machine Equity Security Prosperity The Ecosystem Heat Solar Energy Resources Waste Framing Story
  • 69. Societal Machine Equity Security Prosperity Heat Solar Energy Resources Waste Framing Story/ Ideology Religions are supposed to provide a framing story and creative community capable of guiding people into justice, peace, and joy.
  • 70. Instead, our world religions can usually be found Distracting their followers from the big issues Exhausting/Amusing their followers into passivity Boring their followers into apathy Promoting framing stories/ideologies that make things worse ...
  • 71. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
  • 72. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant Jesus, Paul, & James as postmodern economists
  • 73. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant Jesus as postmodern economist
  • 77.  5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked  the first, “How much do you owe my master?” 6 He  answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him,  “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.” 7 Then he  asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A  hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your  bill and make it eighty.” 8 And his master commended the  dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the  children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their  own generation than are the children of light. 9 And I tell  you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest  wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into  the eternal homes.
  • 86. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant Paul as economist
  • 91. 8 And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 9 As it is written, ‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness* endures for ever.’ 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.* 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.
  • 92. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:11 ff)
  • 93. Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. (1 Timothy 6:6 ff)
  • 94. 6 Now we command you, beloved,* in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are* living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they* received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8 and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labour we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9 This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat. 11 For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13 Brothers and sisters,* do not be weary in doing what is right. (2 Thess 3)
  • 96. 2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
  • 97. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
  • 98. Let this attitude/mind be in you, The attitude/mind of Christ Jesus,
  • 99. who, being in the image of God, Did not count equality with God Something to be grasped, But he emptied himself,
  • 100. By taking the very nature of a servant, Being made in human form, And being found in human form, He humbled himself.
  • 101. He became obedient to the point of death, Even death upon a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place.
  • 102. God gave him the highest name of all, So that at Jesus’ name All knees should bend, All tongues confess,
  • 103. That Jesus Christ is Lord To the glory of God the Father, ... Who works in us to desire And do God’s good pleasure.
  • 104. That Jesus Christ is Lord To the glory of God the Father, ... Who works in us to desire And do God’s good pleasure. acquisitive mimesis or mimetic kenosis?
  • 105. Conventional View Emerging View The Human Situation: What is the story that we find ourselves in? God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings – except for those specifically exempted – will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.1 God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as groups – have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice like a terrible disease. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering farther and farther into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil. Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer? Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer these questions: how can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then? Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: what must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and its specific outworking among his contemporaries: living under domination by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis? Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so He won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when everyone else is banished to hell.”2 This is the good news. Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and groups – including your own religious leaders - are leading you farther and farther astray. I have been sent by God with this good news – that God loves humanity, even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to question and reject what they have been told and instead follow a new path. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news. 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant James as economist
  • 106. 2 My brothers and sisters,* do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?* 2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please’, while to the one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there’, or, ‘Sit at my feet’,* 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.* Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonoured the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? 8 You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
  • 107. 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for* those who make peace.
  • 108. 4 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
  • 109. 5 Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. 2 Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. 4 Listen! The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.
  • 110. Jesus, Paul, and James as Postmodern Economists: Can Their Vision Go Viral? Compassionate Economics: Can It Go Viral?
  • 111. Follow me ... Love one another as I have loved you ... I have set you an example ... Imitate me as I imitate Christ ... Let the mind of Christ be in you ... You know how we behaved among you, as a mother tenderly nursing her children ... Show me your faith by your works ... show by your good life ...
  • 112. The Faith Community as -- a community of resistance/exposure of “prestige”/inter-subjective creation of value -- a multi-generational succession of alternative example and mentoring -- a community of just and generous mimesis -- an upholder of saints/elders/models -- a community of witness to the “great economy/earth economy” of “the kingdom of God”
  • 113. Movements begin as critical communities during times of injustice and foolishness among elites. Movements grow when the hegemony of elites is disturbed ... Movements diagnose and prescribe, communicate and recruit effectively, and make appropriate proposals and demands.
  • 114. Abolition went viral. Anti-animal cruelty went viral. Anti-child labor went viral. Desegregation/anti-apartheid went viral. Anti-domestic violence went viral. Equality for women went viral. Non-violent resistance is going viral. LGBT non-discrimination is going viral.
  • 115. New understanding of economy, society, environment New understanding of desire New understanding of wealth New attitude toward scarcity New intersubjective rendering of value New undestanding of prestige, success, and greatness New revulsion toward inequality & war
  • 116. Where does this new understanding lead in practice? Regenerative Economy: ESR and Triple Bottom Line Distributing Opportunity Living Local Economies Economic Activism Collapse Avoidance & Recovery
  • 117. 117 God Who Creates, God Who Redeems, God of shalom - of peace, God of sh'leimut - of wholeness, We remember standing at the shore of the sea, afraid, Our enslavers in hot pursuit, ready to take us back to captivity. We remember the tumultuous sea  before us that showed no signs of parting. And we remember you told us: v'yisa'u - go forward. We stepped forth. The waters parted.  We moved our bodies from slavery to freedom. You moved our souls from oppression to redemption. God who Creates, God who Redeems, If it can happen once, it can happen over and over and over. V'yisa'u.   Let us cross the sea with all who are enslaved, with captors on their heels. And together, let us make those waters part! - Rabbi Stephanie Kolin
  • 118. Jesus, Paul, and James as Postmodern Economists: Can Their Vision Go Viral? Compassionate Economics: Can It Go Viral?