Inequality and Christian Ethics

Inequality and Christian Ethics

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Inequality and Christian Ethics, first published in 2000, provides a moral and empirical analysis of contemporary social and economic inequality. Drawing on Christian social ethics, political philosophy, and development economics, the book seeks to create an interdisciplinary conversation that illuminates not only the contemporary realities and trends of inequality, but their moral significance as well. It is necessary to examine and understand inequality in various forms - which the book maps out - including disparity in income, education, and health as well as differentials based on race, ethnicity, gender, and nationality. The book draws in particular on the theological ethics of Gustavo Gutierrez and H. Richard Niebuhr to provide a Christian ethical approach to inequality and well-being. It considers the 'capability approach' set forth by Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate in economics. Sen's framework helps Christians and other persons to add specificity to what the commitment to 'equality before God' would demand in social and economic relations.show more

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Review quote

'Douglas Hicks tackles economic problems as well as theological ones. This is a hard combination, and he draws both on sophisticated economic arguments about the nature of social organisation and on the implications of modern as well as traditional Christian ethics for how society should be organised and for the division between individual and social responsibilities. The result is an impressive study which will attract the attention of economists in addition to that of theologians interested in social problems.' Amartya Sen, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Nobel Prize Winner (Economics) '... wide-ranging and carefully argued ... This book makes a valuable contribution to the debate.' The Heythrop Journalshow more

Table of contents

Part I. Contextualizing Inequality: 1. Introduction: inequality matters; 2. Inequality of what?: interdisciplinary perspectives; 3. International contexts of inequality; 4. Inequalities in the United States; Part II. Constructing a Christian Ethical Approach: 5. Christian ethics and theology in a pluralistic society; 6. Equality before God and the thought of H. Richard Niebuhr; 7. Equality before God and the thought of Gustavo Gutierrez; 8. Solidarity, selfhood, and social goods; Part III. Transforming Discourse, Persons, and Societies: 9. Expanding public discourse on inequality; 10. An application: inequalities and human development; 11. Conclusion: implications for inequality and Christian ethics.show more

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