February 04, 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, delivered a talk on theology and economics at New York’s Trinity Church last week. The historic Wall Street church was the site of the Building an Ethical Economy: Theology and the Marketplace conference which promised to “bring together leading theologians and economists to talk about the relationship between economics and Christian belief and action.”
Williams had this to say:
“Inevitably at some point, you have to talk about what level of wealth generation is compatible with the finite setting in which we live.” The global economic crisis, he said, brought to light “unreal forms of wealth generation which simply produce naughts on the end of a balance sheet that correspond to nothing.”
“Theology,” he said, “while it can’t solve specific economic problems, will be at the very least nagging at the vocabulary, nudging at the assumptions.”
And that’s how his talk went — long on literary and theological metaphor (“money is a metaphor like other things”) but precious little on economics. Continue Reading...