Thinking Anglicans

weekend opinion

George Pitcher in the Telegraph Archbishops should note the balance between serving God and Mammon

Andrew Brown in The Guardian The red archbishop?

Jonathan Sacks in the Times It would be a saner world if we put our children first

Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah in The Guardian There is even more cause to remember this Rosh Ha-Shanah

Giles Fraser writes on the current financial crisis in the Church Times The bubble needed to burst

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orfanumGöran Koch-SwahneBillyDCynthia GilliattJoan of Quark Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“William’s real objection to the market is that it turns its participants into things to one another – and that, he believes, is a blasphemy because we are not things, but, in some sense images of God” – Andrew Brown, in The Guardian, Well at least, as a Church Leader, Rowan’s actions in this matter of discernment could be construed as consonant with the imperative of the Gospel. Both Francis of Assisi and Mary would have much to say to us, in the Tradition, about this important matter of God, man and mammon. God knows we all need to make… Read more »

Vulnerable Bede
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Vulnerable Bede

Hmmm the first Archbishop of Canterbury for 40 years to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Karl Marx..

Joan of Quark
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Joan of Quark

It’s odd how George Pitcher’s piece can refer to a “balance” between God and Mammon, when surely there is traditionally no balance but a straight choice. I suspect we’re long overdue a deeper investigation into whether it is possible to make a (partly?) Christian economic system (which I would guess would neither be unrestrained usury and exploitation nor an inefficient and monolithic Stalinist planned system). It’s also strange that he refers to CofE investment as “canny” when the CofE financiers have not been immune to imprudent investment in property and have had a few well-publicised upsets over the years, (along… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“In 19th-century Russian literature, it is almost always nobler to be a serf than a wage-slave. Though the relationship between a serf and his master is based ultimately on violence, it is personal violence, not the impersonal and invisible transaction of the market, and so it has more room for virtue, and for growth.” So – I don’t know about how one acquired a serf. How was it different from slavery in the US, which certainly was based on both violence and the commodification of human beings? This is a genuine question, not a rhetorical one. I just don’t know… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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There is one word for the present vicissitudes of the Market, sub-prime or other, Speculation. And – obviously – Speculation upon Speculation. Since my, by now, distant days in the School of Commerce, the Market has gone from making profit for industrial investment to accruing profit for Greed. “Values”, paper, bonds, Art, Gems, Luxury, Bubbles. What the 10th Commandment rightly calls epithumía and pleonéktai, though (hetero-)sexualized already in the Scholastic Versio vulgata to Concupiscentia and Passione desiderii. Just look the way housing has rocketed! Many years later, doing theology at Lund, I had a teacher who actually had been sitting… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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So the Market is not in itself “Free”, it’s the focus on the individual as Person, which makes it so. The Church might approve of this. Yet, one of the characteristics of Capitalism is to rid us of the personal bonds of Paternalism; Master – Serf. Under Capitalism, we are innumerably connected in im-personal ways to each other, by way of the Coin. When at the school of Commerce Keynesianism was still very much the thing. We had one (1) small book, rather a booklet, representing novel Monetarianism, called “Pengar”; “Money”. It was written by a pair: a Mr and… Read more »

BillyD
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BillyD

“In Modernity we never thought of – or even remembered prostitution/sex trade as one of [slavery’s] forms.”

Not completely accurate. Since the 19th century, English has had the now un-PC term “white slavery” to describe forced prostitution. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_slavery

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Well Billy D, you are quite right in that “white slavery” for Harems has been a theme in certain despised press…

But my point was that has not been understood properly as one of the many forms of Slavery until lately, but rather as a form of kidnapping/folk lore; in Sheik romances and maybe some films of the Valentino genre.

orfanum
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orfanum

I have just, coincidentally, finished reading ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ by Robert Tressell. It was written between 1906-1910, and finally published in 1914. Of course, ‘things have changed’ and we all know that Socialism ‘doesn’t work’ with the end of the Cold War, but it’s interesting that one of the points that Tressell made about 100 years ago has cropped up again recently – the difference in lifespan between the working classes and the middle classes, which Tressell set at some 20 years. Just a few weeks ago, there was this news: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/29/un.life.expectancy In some cases now, lifespan is *on… Read more »