Faith, hope and the love of money: ethics, economics and the creation of crisis

Clarke, Anthea (2015) Faith, hope and the love of money: ethics, economics and the creation of crisis. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis suggests an imbalance between the theological, eschatological mission of the Church and its current investment and use of capital resources. Some of the invested funds clearly involve unethical enterprises. Investigations into this statement are based on biblical principles and historical examples and progress through time to consider diverse influences involving the Church and its money. The aim of my thesis is to assess the impact of Church investments within a world of economics that encourages the accumulation of wealth yet often ignores the consequences for the Church and their effect upon the world. I begin my research by examining the principles for financial relationships and systems as established within the Bible. I then compare the voices, which speak of the principle of wealth redistribution as they involve the Church in specific moments of history. I conclude by focussing on the present day unease within the Church, as an institution, the ethical investment policies of four Christian denominations and their relationship to the secular view of wealth in the complex world of fiscal establishments. I have discovered links between high-yield investments, those not banned for ethical policies, and their consequence within the eco-systems of the natural world and to detriment of human flourishing. My investigations have also found that both within and outside the Church both Christian and secular voices have urged opposition to investment in industries that harm the environment. This work should have important implications for Church investors today, especially those who have a responsibility to endorse ethical financial policies. Trustees of the Churches are expected to sustain the future work of mission as well as oversee the conservation of material resources but my investigations have highlighted the requirement for greater accountability in choices of ethical investments. I have identified some of the investments that result in the destruction of the natural world and draw attention to the rise in the number of people who stand together against this practice.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Jasper, Re. Prof. David
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Mrs Anthea Clarke
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6521
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 13:07
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2015 09:58
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6521

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