13 outubro 2010

Crisis and Recovery: Ethics, Economics, and Justice

The discovery of a new book (title noted above), edited by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Larry Elliott, Economics Editor of the Guardian, has given me hope in these dim times, for new thoughts are being put forth, thoughts that if multiplied, may help bring us out of our financial morass.

Archbishop Williams has long encouraged a reflection on society. In his Foreword, he questions the kind of society we have become and the kind of human person we have been encouraging, one that rewards “behaviors that are destructive and corrosive of a humane culture.” He points to a state “unduly obsessed with regulation and control because it has lost the art of educating critical and independent citizens.” He laments our abuse of the planet and questions our conviction that conflict and profit are our driving force. He states that the challenges of the financial crisis require that we broaden our horizons dramatically and calls this a time to “reclaim economics for the humanities.” He highlights the book, Civil Economy, by Luigino Bruni and Stefano Zamagni, both of whom are known to some of us for the important work they have done among the Focolarinos, proponents of ecumenical dialogue and an economy of communion.

Other than the excellent analysis by Larry Elliott of the financial crisis and the high quality of the various contributions to the book and their creative and thought provoking content, it is encouraging to see that the authors come from different backgrounds: academia, investment banking, government policy, financial supervisory authority, trade unions, and environmental journalism, but all with “moral and religious seriousness,” as Archbishop Williams writes. These are times not for division, but constructive collaboration. There is a call for humility and a re-education process. The goal is to return finance back to its proper place, and we all have a role to play.

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