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Economic Inequality: Economics and Theology in Dialogue

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Authors:
Piet J. Naudé Director: University of Stellenbosch Business School Stellenbosch South Africa

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Stan du Plessis Chief Operating Officer and Professor of Economics, Stellenbosch University Stellenbosch South Africa

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Abstract

This essay is a bi-disciplinary effort in applied ethics by a theologian and an economist who both share the convictions of the Christian faith and wish to demonstrate the significance of this faith for the vexing question of economic inequality. Following the see- judge- act- model often used in public theology, it examines first conceptual matters in order to define economic inequality and undertake a limited descriptive task to get a clearer empirical picture of what economic inequality entails. There is then a moral assessment of economic inequalities (“judge”) where ethically acceptable and objectionable aspects of inequality from the economic and theological perspectives are distinguished. From these perspectives, this essay concludes with possible interventions and actions (“act”) to reduce morally unacceptable forms of economic inequality and scope for co-operative efforts between economics and public theology in this area.

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