Introduction This is a theological essay about economic power.

Economics, the ordering of God’s household, has always been a central theological concern. As Douglas Meeks demonstrates, ‘Economist’ is an appropriate biblical metaphor for God, as “biblical God language is fundamentally economic.”1 The biblical God is forever concerned about God’s household arrangements, the oikonomos tou theou. Economics at its most basic is the study of household arrangements, whether it be the arrangements of the extended familial household, the wider local community, or the national and global households which we find ourselves members of today. Both economics and theology contend for the meaning of the redemption of the household.2 The work of Walter Wink provides an interesting and illuminating paradigm for considering the theology of economic power. Writing in the eighties and early nineties, Wink was the first modern theologian and biblical scholar to undertake a serious exegesis and interpretation of the New Testament ‘Principalities and Powers’. What he discovered was a compelling and insightful perspective on the structure and spirituality of institutional power. Wink laments on the one side those who have understood ‘the Powers’ either as ‘demons in the air’, with no earthly institutional grounding, and those on the other side who have identified the Powers ‘without remainder’ as institutions, structures and systems:
“In the biblical view [the Powers] are both visible and invisible, earthly and heavenly, spiritual and institutional. The Powers possess an outer, physical manifestation (buildings, portfolios, personnel, trucks, fax machines) and an inner spirituality, or corporate culture, or collective personality. The Powers are the simultaneity of an outer, visible structure and an inner, spiritual reality. The Powers, properly speaking, are not just the spirituality of institutions, but their outer manifestations as well.”3

The ancient worldview, reflected in the Bible, sees every earthy nation as having a heavenly counterpart. For instance, the angel in Daniel’s vision was detained by “the prince of the Persian kingdom”, whom Daniel then equates with “the king of Persia” (Dan. 10.13). It is not that the ‘prince’ is a sort of disembodied ‘guardian angel’ of Persia. Rather, the prince and the kingdom are both Persia, in its heavenly and earthly manifestations. This worldview holds together both the physical and spiritual aspects of existence, affirming the validity of each. It is distinguishable from the opposing dualisms of Gnosticism and Materialism, which both sharply divide the spiritual and the material, locating ‘reality’ either in the former (Gnosticism) or in the latter (Materialism). Christian theology has tended to react to

the all-embracing materialism of modernity by conceding the material realm to secular science, whilst inventing a “hermetically sealed” spiritual realm, safely hidden from the probing of materialistic science, and has limited theological investigation to this realm alone. Neither Gnosticism nor Materialism, nor indeed the modern ‘theological’ solution will suffice. To get to grips with the biblical material, Wink suggests, we need an ‘integral’ worldview – one that recognises both the inner spiritual realities of things, while at the same time seeing this ‘withinness’ as inextricably related to their outer physical manifestations. What the biblical authors experienced and called ‘Principalities and Powers’, argues Wink, was in fact real. “They were discerning the actual spirituality at the centre of the political, economic, and cultural institutions of their day… Institutions have an actual spiritual ethos, and we neglect this aspect of institutional life to our peril.”4 Many Christians (and Jews) in the first century perceived in the Roman Empire a demonic spirituality that they called Satan. But they encountered this spirit in the institutional forms of Roman life: legions, governors, crucifixions, taxation, etc. That spirit was the spirituality at the heart of the Roman Empire, understood in the ancient worldview to be a spiritual being, residing in heaven and representing Rome in the heavenly council. The worldview is alien to most modern Westerners, and it is easier for us to grasp the truth that the ancients were pointing to by formulating it in the integral worldview, whereby ‘Powers’ are the profound inward realities of institutions. But are the Powers intrinsically malevolent? The tendency to identify them with demons suggests they are, but at the same time they are a part of God’s good Creation, created by Him, through Him and for Him (Col 1.16). What we must hold together in our minds when contemplating the Powers, suggests Wink, is the same threefold structure that we apply to human beings, and the cosmos as a whole:
The Powers are good. The Powers are fallen. The Powers must be redeemed.5

The Powers are not just evil, they are created by God to provide ways for human beings to live together in justice and peace. Earthly institutions are vital for the continuation of human life as we know it, precisely because “it is not good that man should be alone” (Gen 2.18). But the Powers are not just good, they are also caught up in the profound reality that we experience as fallen-ness, whereby humans, institutions, and the world as a whole constantly fall short of the fullness of life intended for us by the God of life. At the heart of this fallenness is an idolatry of power, wealth, and domination that distorts human life, socially and institutionally,

often in quite wicked ways. But this state of fallenness must also be recognised as a distortion, a state of being that is alien to our intrinsic nature (which is created good – Gen 1.27; 31), both as individuals and as institutions. We experience this state of idolatry as a slavery that, in our own strength, we are quite helpless to break free from, and from which we need to be redeemed (Rom. 7.14-25). The Powers need redemption too, and for the same reason that humans need redemption: they were created in, through, and for the good and humanizing purposes of God in Christ Jesus. We must engage the Powers, therefore, in order to see them transformed into the life-giving institutions they were made to be.
The Simultaneity of creation, fall, and redemption means that God at one and the same time upholds a given political or economic system, since some such system is required to support human life; condemns that system insofar as it is destructive of full human actualisation; and presses for its transformation into a more humane order. Conservatives stress the first, revolutionaries the second, reformers the third. The Christian is expected to hold together all three.6

So what exactly is this state of fallenness? From what do humans, governments, universities and businesses need liberation? It is the system of domination that characterises the modern world, but whose roots are quite ancient. The Babylonian creation epic is one of the clearest reflections and religious justifications for this system. In this myth, creation is an act of violence. The children of Apsu, the gods, kill their Father pre-emptively and so their mother, Tiamat, plots revenge. Marduk, the youngest god, slays his mother in an epic battle, for which he demands chief and undisputed power in the assembly of the gods. Marduk uses Tiamat’s dead body to create the cosmos, and so the foundation of the world is an act of violence. Order is established by means of disorder. Chaos (symbolised by Tiamat) is prior to order (represented by Marduk, high god of Babylon). Evil precedes good. The gods themselves are violent:
Religion exists to legitimate power and privilege. Life is combat. Any form of order is preferable to chaos, according to this myth. Ours is neither a perfect nor perfectible world; it is theatre of perpetual conflict in which the prize goes to the strong. Peace through war, security through strength: these are the core convictions that arise from this ancient historical religion, and they form the solid bedrock on which the Domination System is founded in every society.7

This basic myth is still perpetuated, Wink maintains, in the cartoons that our children read to the spy thrillers, westerns, cop shows, combat programmes, and other oversimplified rubbish that fill the airwaves.

The ‘Myth of Redemptive Violence’ is the story of the victory of order over chaos by means of violence. It is the ideology of conquest, the original religion of the status quo. The gods favour those who conquer. Conversely, whoever conquers must have the favour of the gods. The common people exist to perpetuate the advantage that the gods have conferred upon the king, the aristocracy, and the priesthood. The Genesis creation myth, formulated by the Hebrews enslaved in Babylon, is the very opposite of this violent tale. For the ancient Israelites creation is originally peaceful. God creates a good world, not through violence or subduing chaos, but by simply speaking. Chaos, evil and violence enter the world later, as a result of human sin, not as a necessary precondition for life. As such, violence is a distortion – a basically good reality is corrupted by the free actions of human beings. Violence is no longer merely the way of things, but a problem requiring a solution. The prophets understood this as they took a stand against the repressive violence of people and kingdoms. ‘Be Holy because I am holy’ (Lev. 11.44) was a call to a radical separation from the values of the ancient world. Israel were to be a people who scorned the violent gods of the surrounding nations as idols of power, invented by humans, and not representative of true divinity. Jesus revealed definitively God’s domination-free order of nonviolent love. His teaching was foreshadowed by the message of the prophets, that God is on the side of the oppressed, and entirely opposed to violence and domination. Jesus elevates the derided ‘feminine’ virtues of mutual responsibility, compassion, gentleness and love, and showed extraordinary concern for the outcasts and marginalised in society. The Jesus movement was a nonviolent movement of compassion and equality. The Domination System, however, proved too strong even for the church, and with the conversion of Constantine and the advent of Christendom, the dream of Jesus became a nightmare. Christendom gave way to more recent, secular totalitarianisms, in which the conquest of women went hand in hand with the exploitation of the poor, the conquest of weaker nations, and the rape of the environment. There have been egalitarian resurgences throughout this dark era, such as the Franciscans, the abolitionists, the suffragettes, the civil rights movement and the feminist movement. These groups all achieved progress, but none of them has been able to overturn belief in the fundamental right of some to dominate others. The major force of domination in the world today, I contend, is the global economy or, more specifically, ‘the Market’ elevated to a transcendent position as the arbiter of all goods and services. The Market posits economic growth and profit as ends in themselves, forever increasing the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a tiny minority, while denying life and livelihood to those who, due to lack

of property, or incapacity to work, are excluded from the Market. Those who are fortunate enough to have employment find themselves in a relationship of domination, with employers forced to cut pay and lower standards in order to be ‘competitive’ in the Market. The Market is essentially narcissistic and individualistic, pitting human life against human life and reducing people to ‘consumers’, while destroying complex traditions, cultures, bio-systems and, ultimately, the biosphere itself, in the endless quest for accumulation and growth. Markets are not intrinsically evil, of course. They are essential for any developed nation that wishes to distribute goods. Any society that has developed beyond subsistence level needs some means of exchanging commodities, and markets have provided that means successfully for centuries, and viable alternatives are not forthcoming. As Meeks points out, even Russian communism and Soviet satellites couldn’t avoid trading in markets.8 However, the Market is fallen, and has idolatrously set itself up in the holy of holies, presenting itself as the ultimate spiritual good. The spirituality of the contemporary global economy is the god Mammon. Money becomes Mammon when it ceases to serve the common good, and becomes an end in itself. Modern capitalism has made wealth the highest value. We are enslaved to Mammon, and desperately need redemption, but Mammon fools us into willing our slavery. Money offers itself as the ultimate liberator, but the acquisition of money requires time, attention and devotion – Mastery of money turns out to be slavery of Mammon.
The Kingdom of Mammon exercises constraint by invisible chains and drives its slaves with invisible prods... But Mammon is wiser in its way than the dictator, for money enslaves not through force but by love.9

What constitutes wealth? This is a key theological question, because it is really asking: what takes the place of the value of values? That place is currently taken by money, I contend, an idolatry that threatens the existence of life itself.

Fallen The central task of theology, as defined by Philip Goodchild, is the determination of the value of values. It is precisely this role that money fulfils in the modern world.1 Jesus’ ultimatum was radical – God or wealth (Matt. 6.24). Wealth is personified as Mammon, a master who demands time, attention and devotion – the very definition of worship. The service of Mammon is the essence of idolatry. Mammon is all encompassing, demanding that all other values be subject to its evaluation. For Mammon, nothing is beyond its reach; everything has a price, and can be judged according to the transcendent value of money. As the Market increasingly seeks to infiltrate every area of life, nothing is sacred any longer. All goods – social, physical, spiritual – can be priced and recorded on the accountant’s ledger, and those that can’t are discounted as worthless. Mammon is as totalitarian an ideology as Maoism or Fascism. The idolatry of the Market is destructive in three key areas: It destroys the lives of other humans, perverts our relationship with nature, and alienates us from God. In idolatry we erect walls which separate us from creation, from others, and from God. 11 Historically, the idolatry of the Market as the supreme social value had its roots not only in the industrial revolution, but in the ideology of property which preceded it. The close of the fourteenth century saw the release of the serfs in Britain and the beginning of the mass enclosure of the British Commons. With enclosure, a new ideology of land took hold:
Land was no longer something people belonged to, but rather a commodity people possessed. Land was reduced to a quantitative status and measured by its exchange value. So, too, with people. Relationships were reorganized. Neighbours became employees or contractors. Reciprocity was replaced with hourly wages. People sold their time and labour where they used to share their toil. Human beings began to view each other and everything around them in financial terms. Virtually everyone and everything became negotiable and could be purchased at an appropriate price.12

English law codified this new right to exclusive private property without social obligations. Property rights were then extended to patents, copyrights, and the enforcement of private financial contracts. Property was now an absolute. In the wake of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami developers grabbed land on the beaches of Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Maldives, and Indonesia, expelling the indigenous fishing populations who had lived there for centuries. Now, new luxury complexes,

highly profitable for the tourist industry, have grown up on many of these beaches, while the impoverished tsunami survivors are detained in ‘temporary’ settlements, barred from returning to the beaches. Those who did try to return were met by armed guards, protecting the newly acquired property. All private property must have arisen through land grabs, and conflict, because once the Earth was the common property of all. Property rights are unjust because property has always been obtained through conflict, at the expense of others. Heinsohn and Steiger claim that the original property economy was egalitarian, but the creditor-debtor mechanism within society brought forth inequality. Debtors who could not repay their credits lost their land – their means of subsistence – and had to go into debt bondage to pay off their loan, plus the added interest. The creditors, on the other hand, continued to accumulate land and wealth.13 Property rights deny some the access to livelihood, while others use their accumulated property to accumulate more for themselves. Those without property are dependent and can easily be exploited, as indeed they are in the contemporary ‘free trade’ economy: “[F]ree trade profits from a reserve army of the unemployed who drive wages down to subsistence levels in certain employment markets. Such free trade does not facilitate economic growth for all but for the few, based on growing inequality. It amounts to a liberalization of rent-seeking, monopoly, exploitation and usury.”14 Usury had been condemned by the Church precisely because it entailed exploitative relations; turning the necessity of another into one’s own opportunity. Now these exploitative relations are normative in the global Market. Dominant Characteristics of the globalized capitalist economy include the exploitation of workers, the exclusion of the poor by means of structural unemployment, lower wages and worsening working conditions. Alongside this, speculative finance, which produces no actual growth for the economy, is booming, creating ever-expanding ‘bubbles’ of deregulated financial capital which threaten to burst and destabilize the actual economy, as they did in 1929. But
Once the movement of capital is deregulated … then it is like a gas that has been let out of a bottle. Capital cannot be restored without some stronger force of attraction drawing back inward investment. Once capital has been liberated, it will be reluctant to commit itself permanently to the economic fate of a particular nation and currency; exchange in search of better prices and profits is the essential power of money. In this respect, economic globalization is irreversible short of a breakdown in transport, communications, banking or energy infrastructures. States that have released the

movement of capital have little choice but to subordinate all other political aims to the attraction of investment, or risk losing the source of their power.15

Nixon’s closing of the ‘gold window’ underpinning the dollar, and opening up the New York Stock Exchange, has been the most significant example of financial deregulation. The government’s gamble has released financial forces that it cannot directly control. “Aristotle was prescient here: the use of money to make money, money that bears interest, or the quest for profits for their own sake, have no determinate value and so no place within the polis. The condemnation of usury derives from this principle. For money that makes money leads to the acquisition of a power that has no political essence or limits.”16 The power of accumulated money threatens to overpower all existing values, and thus dismantle the social order through appropriation, substitution and exchange. Money is not simply an instrument of exchange – it dissolves prior social order and replaces it with the social order of the market. Transnational corporations are a major player in the contemporary property economy. Having outgrown their national borders, these institutions have immense power. They have developed a system of global sourcing, through which they can exploit the smallest price advantage in any country, so as to put a product on the Market at the lowest possible cost, and beat their competitors. Their aim is to achieve a monopoly, and when they have done so they can dictate prices in the Market, playing unions, suppliers and governments off against each other in order to save on wages, storage, taxes and environmental protection costs. “The single-minded aim of these companies is to maximise profits on their ivested capital. Social and environmental obligations are largely eliminated.”17 Transnational Corporations put increased pressure on governments to lower taxes and increase subsidies, essentially stealing money from the public purse. Business creates debt for nations, but gives nothing back. Governments borrow from business, and raise taxes in order to pay the interest. In effect, taxpaying wage earners pay subsidies to private business The most profitable public services tend to be privatized, so the Corporations can profit from them, while the state takes on the increasing burden of non-profitable essential services, as well as clearing up the mess which privatized companies leave behind, such as state pensions for workers in privatized companies. As big businesses try their hardest to reduce the social obligation of property we get “privatized profits and nationalized losses.”18 An even more worrying phenomena is the privatization of the environment and elements basic to life, such as water, air pollution, and seed patenting.

In 1980 the US supreme court, with a majority of one, declared that life is patentable. Now, just ten multi-national corporations control 32 percent of the world’s seed, manipulated and patented exclusively to these companies. The manipulation of the seed’s genes often involves introducing ‘terminator genes’ into the plant’s makeup, so that farmers cannot gather any seed for the next year, and are locked into dependence upon these TNCs. Many farmers simply have to give up, and this brings a massive threat to the food supply of two thirds of the world. The biodiversity of entire regions is threatened by monocultural seed monopolies, and this brings further instabilities in food production. The possessive Market economy is death-bringing. Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), introduced by the WTO, have banned the production of imitation drugs in developing countries, raising the cost of health provision in these countries “by a factor of between five and ten.”19 “Property gives rise to the modern conflict between liberty and equality, freedom and just distribution. How can we protect the free will of individuals in a way that does not preclude equality, that is, the equal access of all persons to what they need for their lives and what they need to contribute to the lives of others?”2 Property promises us freedom, but threatens domination. However, we must distinguish between two different senses of property. Property as access to life is different from property as power to exclude others. The capitalist global economy is built upon the second sense. Property is an exclusive right of an individual or corporation (which is granted the legal status of a person in US law), who can dispose of it at will. Property-ownership comes with no social obligations attached; property is purely and only the business of the property owner. Because only exclusive rights can be marketed, the Market relies on the exclusion of some. The right not to be excluded cannot be marketed, so has been sidelined. The Church Fathers were highly critical of exclusive property rights. “Didn’t God make the earth in common for all?” asked Ambrose.21 In that case, agreed John Chrysostom, “the root of accumulated wealth must be injustice.”22 Property as an exclusive right to both use and dispose of things is bound to result in inequality of wealth and power. The wealthy property owners get wealthier at the expense of the poor. Aristotle also understood that the limitless accumulation of wealth created an illusion of immortality, and warned that in the pursuit of this illusion the individual destroys community.23 The Market offers no project. Rather, it proclaims itself as the end of history. “It offers nothing more, but makes a project for the entire future out of the misery of the present.”24 This total Market requires a totalitarian political world power to

enforce the capitalist property economy in every corner of the world. The ‘war on terror’ is this effort, with ‘terrorism’ defined loosely enough to include any resistance to this imperial strategy.25 The Stock Market is the only measure of good. If the Stock Market rises, then the war in Iraq must be a good thing. There is no other criteria.26 Klein demonstrates how new, highly profitable private industries have been created out of the chaos in Iraq, and the massive profits both Cheney and Rumsfeld made from their shares in Halliburton and Gilead, by refusing to sell them whilst in office.27 Any pretence that American political leaders are at all independent of big business interests has been shattered by the brazenness of the Bush administration. Market exchanges are supposedly egalitarian ones. Money is supposed to dissolve oppressive social powers and leave equality in exchange. However, the party with superior mobility can, in fact, act with progressively less restraint, and will profit the most from transactions. The Market is supposedly benign because it merely acts to produce in response to demands. However, demands are useless without money. As is demonstrated by the current food crisis, it doesn’t matter how strong people’s demands are, or how pressing their needs: if they are not supported by money then they will be ineffective.28 There is a severe imbalance of power, then. A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research at United Nations University reported that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. By contrast, the bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth.29 In terms of the effectivity of demands, then, the ability of a wealthy elite to realise evermore complex and expensive demands is far greater than the ability of the majority of the world to realise basic demands. The disparity is blatant and shocking. Demands are both a demand for the realization of some good or service, and also an expression of an evaluation. “To lack money, therefore, is like lacking the opportunity to vote, to speak in public or to publish: it is to lack an opportunity to offer one’s evaluations for acceptance as socially validated evaluations.”3 Mastery of money is always service of Mammon. Jesus saw this clearly, as demonstrated in his teaching on taxation. “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” (Mark 12.16) The money that first-century Palestinians dealt in was forged in Rome, and would return to Rome through taxation. “Hence if wealth was acquired through the use of money, and money belonged to Caesar, then mastery over wealth was at the same time service of Caesar. To accumulate wealth was to participate in a system of exploitation and extortion.”31

Philip Goodchild claims that “the absolute claim to private property, the absolute precedence of self-interest and the absolute claim of the state to the monopoly of violence all derive from the structure of absolution embodied in money.”32 Absolution is essentially a religious matter, and the daily accumulation of money expresses hope for this absolution from ongoing cares and demands. Money promises salvation to the radical individual from societal obligations. “The credit economy is a network of contracted servitude.”33 The one who offers money, whether as a consumer or an employer, exercises power over the one to whom money is offered. Money represents power, and we are willing to give our lives to others in order to hold that sacred power in our hands.
In a peasant society, those in power see to it, by taxation, expropriation, debt, and monopolistic control of prices, that the poor are never able to rise above their station. In the modern economic system, the poor are kept compliant by the promise of economic and social upward mobility, whereby individuals are able to rise above their class without subjecting to criticism a system built on class inequality. In either arrangement, brute economic control is given a mythological and ideological sanction to guarantee that those who have most to lose from obedience to the ruling class become its staunchest supporters.34

“The friction between biblical religion and any prevailing economics”, writes Douglas Meeks “comes at the point of defining the household, at defining economy.”35 The definition of economy has changed dramatically since the biblical authors were writing, and especially since the industrial revolution and the advent of the market society. When the Market is elevated to the status of a god, then there is no area of life that it cannot potentially determine. Even drinking water, clean air and health care can be sold as commodities, claim the prophets of the Market. But the Market does not distribute all social goods justly. We must bear in mind that the Market is not reducible to the persons who comprise it. It doesn’t matter whether or not the CEO and management of a transnational corporation are greedy for profit or not; “the system is greedy on their behalf.”36 Within the confines of the system an individual can make limited attempts to be more humane – for instance, an employer can do his best to give staff a living wage and comfortable working conditions. But he can’t raise salaries too sharply, as he risks being put out of business by cheap imports and rising fuel costs. The system is greedy on his behalf. It is not the CEOs and the TNCs that should be our major target for reform, although we certainly can remind them of their social and

environmental responsibilities, but the system itself: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age.” (Eph. 6.12)

“The real science of political economy, which has yet to be distinguished from the bastard science, as medicine from witchcraft, and astronomy from astrology, is that which teaches nations to desire and labour for the things that lead to life: and which teaches them to scorn and destroy the things that lead to destruction.” (John Ruskin, 1860)37

The imminent end of modernity requires a radical rethinking of political economy on the part of governments, businesses, trade unions and churches alike. Rapid climate change, overpopulation, and the depletion of natural resources are set to come to a dramatic head sometime in the next three decades. Changes in the Earth’s climate have already begun, and many of the processes under way, such as the melting of the ice caps and desertification, are negative feedback loops that cannot be stopped. Dramatic changes in temperature, triggered by man-made climate change, are inevitable, although the exact shape of these changes, both globally and locally, is uncertain.38 The UK has been experiencing a spate of record-breaking weather, with scorching Springtimes and soggy Summers39, and the Caribbean has been hit with a succession of unusually intense cyclones. Meanwhile, higher than average temperatures and low rainfall in water vulnerable areas are causing drought, forest fires, and desertification.4 We cannot tell with any certainty what the effects of rapid climate change will be over the next few decades. Droughts, famines, floods, hurricanes and forest fires are likely, as is the permanent flooding of low-lying countries and cities. Whether the global temperature will soar or plummet, due to some as yet unknown mechanisms, is less sure. “Prediction of the most basic conditions for continued human existence becomes impossible.”41 Finite natural resources, combined with a burgeoning global population, means that we are consuming more than the Earth can provide. Since the 1980s we have been living beyond our ecological means. In 2007, for instance, humanity used up about 30 percent more natural resources than nature can regenerate in that same year, compared to 20 percent in 2002.42 We maintain this overshoot by liquidating the planet’s natural resources. We cut down trees faster than they re-grow, and catch fish at a rate faster than they repopulate. Mostly the effects of overshoot are regional, as fertile soil, fresh water, and forests have limited transportability. On a global scale, it will be the peaking of crude oil production that

causes the decisive collision between economic growth and ecological finitude.43 More oil has been produced than discovered in each of the past 30 years, and even the most conservative of estimates predict the final peaking of oil production within three decades, but it is likely to be far sooner.44 The problem is compounded by a booming global population, with a corresponding demand for fossil fuels that is set to double by 2035. “The collision between supply and demand must take place within a decade.”45 Cheap, easily available oil has spurred on the population boom, and is essential to the kind of industrial food production that has supported it. The advent of Peak Oil will bring widespread famine, and a dramatic decrease in the global population over the next 30 years.46 Tragedy may well be unavoidable. Economic growth is clearly incompatible with ecological limits. Capitalism is unsustainable. Capitalist investment, “guided by the maximization of profits, is directed towards the maximization of rates of depletion. Such is the inevitable contradiction of capitalism: it is necessarily self-destructive.”47 “What functions as God?”48 Is it the God who frees the slaves, oppressed and the poor? Or is it the God of the Market? The ‘God’ of the Market is absolute, monolithic, transcendent, independent and impassable. He is the image of the ultimate property owner. Market anthropology has replaced this transcendent God with the independent, propertyowning human being. The human is considered to be infinitely and irredeemably desirous, a consumer by his very nature.49 As Douglas Meeks demonstrates, the doctrine of the Trinity provides a critique of the Market’s metaphysical anthropology. Where Market ideology imagines human beings in the image of an inscrutable, absolute Individual, the experience of Christian revelation is that of the threefold God; the eternal communion of Persons; the God who gives God’s self out of the fullness of God’s being, God’s love. In God’s three-in-one being each Person is individual but there is no principal of hierarchy or domination – they have all things in common, and give of themselves freely. If we hold that humans are made in the image of this Trinitarian God, then we affirm a radical critique of Market anthropology. Humans are not absolute individuals, but are inescapably social. We are who we are in relationship with others, and we cannot deny our common humanity. The God of life unmasks and challenges the idols that legitimate power and wealth, and call for human sacrifice. The households of Pharoah and the households of Caesar, from which the collective Judaeo-Christian consciousness emerged, were households of domination, slavery, and death. “The Jewish and Christian ways of living in the ‘household of

God’ make them opposed to the definitions of economy given by Pharoah and Caesar”5. The household of God was a household of freedom, as opposed to slavery, of life as opposed to death, of the just distribution of the conditions of livelihood to all, rather than the monopoly of land and wealth in the hands of an elite leadership. The Torah forbade the charging of interest because it made people poor and destroyed their means of livelihood. Often, the victims of interest would have to sell themselves into slavery (Ex. 22.25; Deut 23.19-20; Lev. 25.35-38). The Law also made provision for land-less residents, who were allowed to glean the left-over crop at edge of the fields after harvest, and the hungry could enter the fields before harvest to fill themselves (Lev. 19.9-10; Deut. 24.19-22; Deut. 23.24-25. Cf. also Matt. 12.18). What all these laws presuppose is that the right to the means of life supersedes the right to land and produce.51 This is reinforced by the tithe law of Deut. 14.22-29, which existed so that “the alien, the fatherless and the widow” could have access to livelihood. Other laws that are concerned for the equality of class and wealth include the injunctions on the Sabbath year and the Jubilee year, in which slaves are freed, debts are cancelled, and land is redistributed. In these years the land is also allowed to rest to regain its natural fertility. This law recognises the human race’s reliance upon nature. Current industrial farming practices, which are doing untold damage to soils and eco-systems, fail to recognise this, and are irreversibly damaging the habitats we depend upon for survival. Biblical prophets condemn the property-interest-seizure-debt slavery mechanism as theft (cf. Micah 2.1-9; Isa. 1.23; 3.14; 5.8), and the law contains many corrective mechanisms for returning lost land, livelihood, and liberty. These economic reforms are without parallel in the ancient world. In Israel, the absoluteness of property is rejected. When Jesus laid out his devastating critique of wealth his disciples asked “then who can be saved?” (Mark 10.26). The disciples had internalised the values of the Domination System, which identifies wealth with blessedness. Jesus, informed by the Deuternomistic and prophetic traditions, saw through this legitimization of domination when he questioned the rich young ruler’s ethical credentials. Jesus pointedly adds ‘do not defraud’ to ‘do not steal’ in his list of the commandments, a hint that the man’s wealth is derived from oppressive structures. “One thing you lack” Jesus informs him. Despite his protestations, the man hasn’t in fact kept the whole law. Jesus’ solution for the young man – giving all he has to the poor – is not an act of charity but of justice, repaying those he had defrauded with the help of unjust economic mechanisms.

In the kingdom of God, priority is given to the weakest – to the poor, the sick, the disabled, the prostitutes, the tax collectors and the sinners. “God’s economy begins with those who have been excluded from the household.”52 “The gospel of Jesus champions economic equality, because economic inequalities are the basis of domination.”53 A sense of scarcity is necessary for the possessive Market economy to function. If everyone had access to what they needed then Market mechanisms would fail to work. Exclusive private property creates an artificial scarcity by denying some people what they need, and there remains a malignant fear that there is not enough to go around. This system creates greedy fearful possessors, who horde up their belongings and refuse to share. False needs along with false scarcities are created everywhere as advertisers convince us that we need such-and-such a product. The scarcities become less physical and more psychological, spiritual, sexual, as the advertisers target our perceived insecurities and inadequacies, offering their product as the solution to our lack. How different this is to the reign of God: “You are already filled. Already you are rich”, declares Paul (1 Cor. 4.8)! In God we are rich, and the realization of our wealth frees us from the grasping possessiveness of the Market. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8.9)
The abundance of God’s love removes the scarcity we instil with our spiritualized love of things.54

When we are freed from the fear of scarcity we are freed to be generous. When we realise the abundance of God’s riches for us we have no need to horde. The first Christians, living in this realization, shared everything in common, and no-one was lacking among them (Acts 4.35). The solutions to poverty, hunger, unemployment, wealth discrepancy, depletion of natural resources and the destruction of the ecosphere all seem to undermine the most sacred assumptions about property as an exclusive divine right.55 But if we claim that all human beings have an equal right to life (and we surely have to), we must also concede that everyone requires access to the means by which they can continue their life. This second right – the right of access to the means of livelihood – is so self-evident, that the onus of proof is surely on those who would defend the right of a few to deny others their livelihood.

The elites continue to teach, contrary to all the evidence, that enough profit eventually profits everyone. We must choose, claims Meeks, between wealth and justice. We cannot have both.56 The alternative between capitalist private property and state ownership is false, and must be resisted. ‘If there are only two choices, choose the third’, as the proverb says. Life is fuller and more varied than the economic fundamentalisms often imposed upon it. The bible doesn’t advocate any absolute system of ownership, but starts from the perspective of God, who hears the cries of the oppressed, and the creation (Rom 8.22-26). The basic character of property, then, whatever particular form it takes, is its usefulness for the common good, the common good defined as the welfare of the poorest members of society. In that context, the most compelling system of property ownership has to be that of local cooperatives, which represent the self-determination of the masses. Land is owned, not by a radical individual, but by the local community. Each member has the right of usage, but no-one has the right of dominium. All levels of economy must be reorganized from the perspective and interest of local people. 57 Work needs to be democratized – Duchrow and Hinkelammert suggest a basic income for all citizens would eliminate wage slavery, and give people the freedom of flexible employment. This system eliminates the need for all other social benefits, so it also has the benefit of downsizing a bloated bureaucracy. Public services such as water, transport, communication, education, health, and energy need to be provided affordably to all citizens. Renewable energy technologies must be invested in and developed urgently, both for small-scale, decentralized energy production, and nationally in the form of large wind-towers and solar power. The democratic international organizations – i.e. the UN and its economic organizations – should be strengthened, while the WTO is weakened, or else democratized. The patenting of life forms and medical drugs must be reversed. Companies cannot be allowed to sell costly AIDs and malaria drugs to countries suffering pandemics. Governments, not corporations, should have control over the healing forces of nature. The control of seed distribution must also be wrestled back from the seed giants like Monsanto and given to the State, to enable all farmers to cultivate their own seeds. Alternative scales to GDP are vital for assessing the true success of economies, scales that take into account the well-being of society as a whole, and the

poorest members in particular. The UNDP’s ‘Human Development Index (HDI) is one such attempt, and there will be others. The crucial point is that social and environmental factors must be included in any measure of economic success. Part of the resistance to the ever-increasing influence of the Market in all areas of life will be the conscious resistance of those who choose to defy its pretensions of divinity. Local communities, who choose to organize their trading and relationships independently of the global Market, are iconoclasts, reminding us that money is not the true ‘value of values’, and that societal bonds, relationships, work, leisure, art and love are cannot be evaluated by their profitability. A refusal to consider life in terms of its functional ‘usefulness’ will go a long way toward liberating us from our captivity to Mammon. ‘Time is money’ is a well-worn slogan, but its implications are frightening. Humans beings are not cogs on some giant machine.58 The Sabbath was instigated, during the Babylonian captivity, from precisely this intuition. The biblical authors opposed the Babylonian creation myth not just because it pictured violence as the primal reality – humans, in the myth, are created as slaves of the gods, with no purpose other than toil and drudgery. The Sabbath, on the other hand, affirms our humanity just as we are, without having to do anything or strive to be anyone. “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?”59 The joy of leisure is that it serves no useful purpose, and as such it is a protest against the Market, and its joyless functionality. In Latin America many popular movements are working to safeguard against the worst effects of the rampant global Market. The privatization of the water supply in Cochabamba, Bolivia by Bechtel in 1999, leading to a 35% price hike and the outlawing of rainwater collection, was brought to an end by continuous nonviolent protests in the city.6 Bolivia has, for the first time, elected a president from the indigenous community, Evo Morales, who came to power on the back of widespread popular political involvement. Morales has made bold moves toward land reform and modest wealth redistribution – reforms that are being vigorously opposed by the country’s wealthy right-wing elite, who are attempting to form an autonomous region encompassing the wealthy eastern province of Santa Cruz. These protesters, encouraged by US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, have seized oil facilities and airports in the region, and are apparently aggravating for US military intervention.61 Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, has let it be known that Venezuelan troops will defend against any such aggression.

In Venezuela there are now a network of thousands of neighbourhood councils and co-ops, dispersed at the grass roots and community level, across the country. Chavez, a great supporter of the co-ops, has the support of a large majority of ordinary Venezuelans, who managed to overturn the 2002 attempted coup, despite the support of the corporate media and US backing.62 Argentina, Ecuador and Chile all have popular governments who have come to power on an anti-neo-liberal platform. In Brazil, the Landless Peoples Movement (MST), a collection of a million and a half farmers, have formed hundreds of cooperatives to reclaim unused land. Argentinean workers have resuscitated two hundred-odd bankrupt businesses by turning them into democratically run cooperatives. The solutions to Latin American poverty are coming from the bottom, from those who have been worst hit by the reckless neo-liberalism of the last 30 years. These farmers, workers, and trade unionists are taking the power for their lives into their own hands at last. The cooperatives in Venezuela are taking full advantage of government contracts, and are offered first refusal for running tollbooths, health clinics, and highway maintenance. The communities who use the resources are the ones with power to manage them. The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is a South American trade agreement, designed to give countries independence from Washington’s financial organizations, and help each nation to develop in its best interests. The agreement means that “each country provides what it is best placed to produce, in return for what it most needs, independent of global market prices”63. Bolivia provides cut-price gas and Venezuela offers subsidized oil to poorer countries. Cuba sends thousands of doctors to provide free health care all over the continent, subsidized by Venezuelan oil money, while training Latin American doctors at its medical schools.
ALBA is essentially a barter system, in which countries decide for themselves what any given commodity or service is worth, rather than letting traders in New York, Chicago or London set the prices for them. That makes trade far less vulnerable to the kind of sudden price fluctuations that devastated Latin American economies in the recent past.64

Thanks to high oil prices, Venezuela has emerged as a major lender to developing countries, lessening the power of the IMF and giving troubled economies alternatives to their rigid neo-liberal Structural Adjustment Programmes. Many Latin American countries are now free of the Fund’s influence, and its power is waning. (cite New Statesman article on IMF) In just three years the IMF’s lending has shrunk

from $81 billion to $11.8 billion worldwide.65 The World Bank, similarly, has significantly diminished influence in the developing World, especially Latin America. Ecuador suspended all loans from the Bank in April 2007, while Bolivia withdrew from its arbitration court, the body where multinationals prosecute governments for acting in the interests of their citizens. Of course, Latin America will by no means be immune to the imminent oil shock that will mark the end of the fossil-fuel economy. Venezuela’s oil wealth has been a major driving force behind Latin American economic developments. However, the model of well organised, local co-ops, who take responsibility for the provision of many services, including food and healthcare, alongside the regional barter trade that enables mutual cooperation and provision of essential imports, is the best existing paradigm for the necessary transition to a post-oil world. Private financial institutions must also be tackled, as their immense power to create debt money at will is further widening the gap between rich and poor, and driving irresponsible financial speculation that threatens to crash the system. We need the State to assume the power of creating debt-free money, which could be used to lessen the State’s debt and to provide a basic income for the whole population. 66 Why should banks be able to create money at the stroke of a pen, increasing both the property of the wealthy and the debt of the country? Debt cancellation for developing countries is essential, as the only alternative is escalating debt spirals which the governments will never be able to pay off, and will reduce their ability to care for the poorest in their nations. At a local level, barter exchange of goods and services without money or interest is a healthy alternative the domination of the debt-money economy. The so-called ‘anti-globalization’ movement (in fact, it is anti-corporate domination) has become more vocal and better organized in recent years. The 1999 WTO talks in Seattle collapsed, due largely to large scale nonviolent protests in the city, which spurred the leaders of developing nations to belligerence in the face of pressure. The protestors were, in effect, reminding the assembled world leaders of the words of Psalm 29: “Ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength”, remember the humanizing purposes you were created for. The sheer size and success of the protest served as a reminder to the world of how profoundly anti-democratic the talks were, and how unpopular the WTO’s imperial project is. The major obstacle to the organization and reach of the movement has been the monopoly of the corporate media, who are unwilling to give voice to those who defy their masters, let alone give

them a fair hearing. With the advent of the internet, and the alternative independent media, this is starting to change. How should the Church engage economic Powers in the world? The charter of the Church in its struggle with the Powers is set out in Ephesians 3.10: “His intent was that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the Principalities and Powers in the heavenly realms”. It is the Church’s role to reveal God’s wisdom – His humanising purposes – to the Powers, in the hope of their redemption. Wink discusses Psalm 29.1-2, which calls upon the Powers to praise God: “Ascribe to Yahweh, O heavenly beings, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.”
It is all so clear. We are simply to proclaim to IBM and Gulf + Western and the current political administration and the pettifogging bureaucrat that they do not exist as ends in themselves, but for the humanizing purposes of God as revealed in Jesus.67

The Church is one of many groups who struggle to humanise the Powers. Fortunately, as Matthew 25 makes clear, God is not dependent on the Church. Those who are considered blessed by God are those who, regardless of religious affiliation, behave in loving ways toward the hungry, homeless, naked and prisoners. (Matt. 25.34-40) “Apparently Jesus’ God is interested in one thing only: whether we behave in a way consistent with the divine order that is coming. Our religious preferences, practices, and affiliations are, next to that, a matter of indifference.”68 How do we oppose evil without becoming evil ourselves? How do we protest the violent actions of Transnational corporations and governments without resorting to violence? The key is to be found in Jesus’ teaching on nonviolent direct action in the Sermon on the Mount. Turning the other cheek, giving cloak as well as coat, and going the extra mile are not invitations to become doormats, as Walter Wink demonstrates, but a creative ‘third way’ of resisting evil. None of the injunctions should be understood as timeless and unchanging. Rather, they should be understood as spontaneous and inventive responses to oppressive situations, designed to expose the system of dominion for what it is. By stripping naked in front of a Roman soldier who had demanded your coat (an accepted practice at the time), you can reveal the unjust practice for what it is, and shame your adversary, without disobeying the letter of the law. An armed revolution in first-century Palestine could only end in disaster, as the events that culminated in the destruction of the temple in 70 AD would prove. Jesus proposes not an armed revolution, but a social revolution. Nonviolence involves courage and commitment, but it is the only way to effectively engage the Powers. The myth of redemptive violence is just that – a

myth. Violence always begets more violence, and animosity only escalates. Forgiveness, reconciliation, and a reminder of their God-given purposes, is the only way to achieve redemption of the Powers.
The goal is not only our becoming free from the Powers, however, but freeing the Powers; not only reconciling people to God despite the Powers, but reconciling the Powers to God (Col. 1.20)

Local, popular movements are crucial. Communities need to take responsibility for their own destinies, and not rely on detached national and international bureaucracies and corporations to have their best interests at heart. In this respect, the ‘transition towns’ initiative in the UK is heartening, as towns and cities up and down the country start to envision a peak-oil world, and their place within it. The nurturing of local, sustainable agriculture has got to be at the heart of these projects; without cheap, easily available oil our whole approach to food must change. While we can’t rely on the massive level of food imports that we currently do, we also can’t rely on large-scale industrial domestic agriculture, which is also oilintensive, and polluting. A post-oil economy will employ many more farm workers than the UK currently employs – roughly 1 percent of the British workforce is involved in agriculture; figures for a peak oil world would be between 20 and 50 percent69. Local, small-scale agriculture avoids the monoculture and desertification that result from the industrial overworking of the soil. The Market economy is opposed to God’s economy as it leaves no room for God’s grace or God’s justice. “The more the market logic threatens to become the church’s way of organizing its life, the more the economy of the church is defined by the prevailing economy of society and the more market rules determine what we mean by justice.”7 There are certain social goods that should never be allowed to be subjected to Market logic, including family relationships, healthcare, education, food, and housing. That this list sounds a little quaint and unrealistic is a mark of how pervasive the idolatry of the Market is in our society. But if we maintain that these social goods are the right of each and every human being then we must prevent at all costs their subjection to a system of unequal distribution based on wealth, leading to domination. What should be the role of the Church in this? The danger for much of the Church, of course, is that it won’t even recognise the radical evil of the totalitarian neo-liberal crusade. The Church has been complicit in Nazism and Apartheid in the past, and these systems were even explicit about their aims. The Transnational

Corporations, the Commercial Banks, the IMF, World Bank and WTO are much less honest. Their imperial strategy of domination is dressed up in the guise of ‘free trade’, ‘choice’, and ‘development’. The negative effects of economic globalization, if they are admitted, are called ‘collateral damage’, yet it is this ‘unintentional’ harm – the necessary consequence of a totalitarian system based on exclusive private property, unlimited wealth acquisition, and debt money – that is causing the deaths of untold millions, and the steady destruction of our Biosphere. The Church must begin by confessing her guilt and complicity in this system of death. By listening to the victims of the Market, and turning to the Bible, the Church can begin to grasp the depths of the evil of this system. The Church must reject the idol of the global Market, and all religious legitimizations of imperial power. She should turn again to the radical teachings of Jesus on wealth, and the prophetic rants against extortion, until their implications are deeply ingrained in her identity. It is not just the poor who need saving from the global Market. There is a need for us in the Western Church also, who are the wealthiest congregations in the world, to be liberated from our entrapment to property, work and consumption that serve to oppress others. Individually and corporately, Christians in the wealthy congregations of the global North can take steps to rid themselves of the idolatry of Mammon by choosing to live simple lives. “Simplicity gives us the perspective and the courage to stand against greed, vengeance, and violence. Simplicity gives us the framework to experience generosity, magnanimity, and shalom.”71 Churches can take many practical steps, as institutions, to choose the economy of life over the economy of death. For example, churches should not involve themselves in financial speculation, and should refuse to invest in banks that do. Churches can invest in cooperative or alternative banks that invest in ecological and social causes, and they can call upon their congregations to do the same. Public announcement of these steps would cause a stir, and go a long way towards damaging the reputation of speculative investments. The Church also needs to put pressure on the State to fulfil its God-given humanizing purposes. She can challenge the government to shift the tax burden away from workers and onto businesses, to disallow the patenting of seeds and life forms, and to resist the privatization of important public services, such as healthcare, transport, education, and energy. She can also demand the increase of debt-free public money, moves towards cooperative ownership at local and regional levels, and the restructuring of the international monetary organizations into democratic institutions.

Conclusion There are incredible challenges ahead. The human race is about to experience, collectively, the biggest single shock of its entire history. The accumulation of rapid global climate change, overpopulation, local and global environmental degradation, and the peaking of global oil production spell a disaster of epic proportions. Droughts, famines, forest fires, desertification, wars fought over natural resources, destruction of entire low-lying countries and the flooding of coastal cities are almost inevitable. In fact, they are all already occurring. The globalized neo-liberal economy can survive most of these catastrophes, as the wealthiest elite, with their hyper-mobile capital are able to secure the stability and most of the resources they need to sustain their luxurious lifestyles, and of course the systems of global debt and free trade are not eliminated by floods or fires, or even mass starvation. The peaking of oil, however, will change global economic relations in profound ways. Countries, and local communities especially, will need to achieve a far greater level of self-sufficiency than they have currently, and key to this will be the local organization of agricultural cooperatives, as we have seen recently in Venezuela and Bolivia, and the forging of strong local communities, undergirded by a level of national and international cooperation. The Church, as a local, national, and international organization, can be instrumental in supporting this transition. While some Christians may await the destruction of the Earth and its people with apocalyptic glee, it is not my opinion that we can legitimate the suffering of millions of human beings in the name of the God of life. The god of Hal Lindsay and the god of the ‘prosperity gospel’ is a Marduk, who legitimates the myth of redemptive violence. Satan masquerades as an angel of light, and the god Mammon is no different. Many Christians are complicit in the perpetuation of the death-giving aspects of the global Market, as they were in Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa.
If the church is already beholden to our economic, political, and cultural interests, can it serve God’s liberation of the poor and dying in the world?72

The Church needs to find ways of living as the Church in the twenty-first century. The Church should be the place where the economy of God, from whose livelihood no-one is excluded, is lived out prophetically in the world, while waiting for, campaigning for, and praying for the eschatological overflowing of that lifegiving economy to the whole world.

We must not despair. Another World is possible, even if it doesn’t seem likely. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, this much is obvious. As a species, we are almost entirely unprepared for the tragedies that await us. But the Christian hope is not a cheap optimism.
Optimism is the superficial view that everything's going to work out fine "because it has to." That's not true, and in fact is a dangerous illusion. Hope, on the other hand, is the confidence that there is ultimate meaning, even in loss, and that (from a Christian point of view) everything works to the good in the fullness of time, even if it is only given to us to know defeat and suffering in our place and time.73

Laissez-faire capitalism embodies this kind of optimism, and thus disregards the crucial doctrine of the fall, and the necessary caution that must follow from it. In contrast, the Christian gospel recognises the depth and disaster of sin and death, yet still proclaims the victory of God in the midst of it. Our hope is in the death and resurrection of Christ, not in inevitable progress. Things are getting worse, and will get worse, but God’s purposes will prevail. That is the paradox of the Christian gospel. That is our hope.

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Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 21

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Goodchild, P., Theology of Money, London: SCM, 2007, p. 144 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 62 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 64




Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 97

Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 95


Wörner, B., “Von Gen-Piraten und Patenten”, quoted in Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 105

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 100

Quoted in Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 106

Chrysostom, Epistolam I ad Timotheum, 12, 4, quoted at length in Ibid., p. 204 n. 17


Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 5

Duchrow & Hinkelammert, Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed, 2004), p. 123 Cf. Duchrow & Hinkelammert, Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed, 2004), chapter 5



Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 127

Klein, The Shock Doctrine (London: Penguin, 2008), chapter 15 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 100



“The World Distribution of Household Wealth”, 2008 UN-WIDER, available online at:

Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 124 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money, London: SCM, 2007, pp. 204-5 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money, London: SCM, 2007, p. 164 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 239





Wink, W., Engaging The Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress 1992), pp. 113-4

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 37

Wink, W., Engaging The Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress 1992), p. 78

Quoted in ‘Are You Happy?’, a study by the new economics foundation (nef), and published on their website: (accessed 06/09/08)

Cf. National Research Council, Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (National Academy Press, 2002), available online at: (accessed 09/09/08)

Michael McCarthy, “Extreme conditions: What's happening to our weather?”, The Independent, 28th August 2007

4 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 49



Global Footprint Network: (accessed 10/09/08), see also the National Academy of Sciences, ‘Tracking the Ecological Overshoot of the Human Economy’, 2002, online at: artid=123129

Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 51. Cf. also David Strahan, The Last Oil Shock (London: John Murray, 2007); Richard Heinberg, The Party’s Over (Temple Lodge Publishers, 2003)

Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 51 Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 52



Ross McLuney, ‘Population, Energy and Economic Growth’, in McKillop (ed.), The Final Energy Crisis, p. 178, cited in Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 52

Goodchild, P., Theology of Money (London: SCM, 2007), p. 84


Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 156

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 62

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 40

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 87

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 43

Wink, W., Engaging The Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress 1992), p. 113

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 174

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 102

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 64

Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 170

Giles Fraser, “Humans are not just cogs in a vast machine”, Ekklesia 13/12/07 W. H. Davies, Leisure



Finnegan, W., ‘Leasing the Rain’, The New Yorker, 08/04/02, available online at:

‘Bolivia ‘expels’ US Ambassador’, (Al Jazeera, 11/09/08):; cf. also ‘The Ambassador of Ethnic Cleansing’, (Machetera, 03/05/08):

Klein, N., The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (London: Penguin, 2008), p. 454


Emir Sader, quoted in Klein, N., The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (London: Penguin, 2008), p. 456

Klein, N., The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (London: Penguin, 2008), p. 456 Klein, N., The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (London: Penguin, 2008), p. 457



Duchrow, U. & Hinkelammert, F. J., Property for People, Not for Profit (London: Zed Books, 2004), p. 190

Wink, W., Engaging The Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress 1992), p. 167

Wink, W., Engaging The Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress 1992), p. 168
69; Colin Tudge in Simms & Smith (ed.), Do Good Lives Have to Cost The Earth? (London: Constable, 2008), p. 142

Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 37

Foster, R., Money, Sex & Power (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1985), p. 87


Meeks, D. M., God The Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989), p. 24

Dreher, R., “Optimism versus hope” (06/08/07), (accessed 11/09/08)

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