Samuel Gregg’s latest book, For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good argues that making a profit and living a good, moral life are not mutually exclusive endeavors. People are taking notice. In a new review of the book at Zenit, Fr. John Flynn agrees with Gregg. “[M]oney and finance,” he begins, “play an essential role in the well-being of persons and nations and they are not of themselves immoral.” He continues:
Another handicap to an accurate moral analysis of the morality of finances is that for a long time, since the late-seventeenth century in fact as Gregg pointed out later in the book, there has been a real dearth of in-depth commentary by Christians in this area.
Gregg’s book is indeed a much needed addition to Christian reflection on this subject. He starts with some chapters detailing the historical development of theological analysis, above all on the subject of the legitimacy of charging interest on loans.
As well as an outline of the involvement by Christians in the development of banking in the second part of the Middle Ages Gregg also explained that it is an area in which Christians can participate with a clear conscience provided that profit realized through finance is:
+ Understood as a means to an end.
+ Never seen as an end in itself.
+ Used to serve rather than diminish what we understand as human flourishing.
Read Flynn’s “ANALYSIS: Faith, Morality, and Money” in its entirety at Zenit. Also, as part of For God and Profit’s “book tour,” Samuel Gregg was featured on Ave Maria Radio’s Kresta in the Afternoon discussing banking and Catholicism. You can listen to their conversation here.