Augsburg Fortress

God the Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy

God the Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy

"God does not appear in the modern market. For most economists this is as it should be. It is in no way necessary, according to modern economic theory, to consider God when thinking about economy. Indeed, the absence of God in economic matters is viewed as necessary to the great advances in modern economy. The difficulty with modern market economies, however, is that human livelihood is also left out of the theory and practice of the market economy. …
"I propose to bring the church's teaching about God, the doctrine of the Trinity, to bear on the masked connections between God and economy. I will treat the Trinity as the way of understanding what the Bible calls the 'economy of God.'…
"A brief map of our journey is in order. Chapter 1 considers our present economic quandaries and reasons the church has kept God and economy separated. Chapter 2 inquires about ways in which theology and political economy might be correlated. In chapter 3 we trace some of the historical and theological implications of God's official absence from the market and the surreptitious presence of God concepts in the assumptions behind modern economistic theory. The next chapter investigates some biblical warrants for using Economist as a metaphor for God. The final three chapters examine some of our society's basic assumptions about property, work, and needs. By making a trinitarian critique of God concepts entailed in these assumptions, we seek to open up new possibilities for the church to struggle with economic questions on the assumptive level and to live both before God and in the face of massive problems that emerge in a society extolling liberty and justice in which the denial of livelihood to many people raises radical questions about liberty and justice."
— from the Preface
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800623296
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.44
  • Pages 268
  • Publication Date June 1, 1989


". . . brilliantly written . . . Douglas Meeks has succeeded in breaking through to a new dimension of theology. Political economy is no longer tabu. There, where the life and death of millions of people are decided, must theology, with its critique and promise, also be present and awaken awareness. This successful book will become the basis of many discussions and studies."
--Jurgen Moltmann
University of Tubingen

"Finally, an informed and well-written theological treatment of economics. Carefully and creatively, Meeks renders a theological critique of our present situation and offers a constructive vision for God's 'law of the household' in our life together. His book is a model of much-needed theological reflection, providing a public voice where Christianity ahs for too long remained silent. It should be priority reading for all Christians concerned about economics and politics."
--Rebecca S. Chopp
Chandler School of Theology Emory University

"How one thinks about scarcity, property, work, and needs cannot remain unchanged after reading this book. Most Christian reflection on the economy has been in terms of social ethics and has focused on inequitable distribution of jobs and goods in the market economy. Meeks writes on the economy as a Trinitarian theologian, and a very good one. The result is a more searching critique with more radical implications for individual Christians and for the churches. God the Economist should edify and challenge liberal and conservatives alike."
--John B. Cobb
Jr. Claremont School of Theology