Capital, Spirit, and Common Wealth

Jon P. Gunnemann

in The True Wealth of Nations

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199739813
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866120 | DOI:
Capital, Spirit, and Common Wealth

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This chapter contributes to an understanding of “true wealth” by offering a theological (Protestant) interpretation of capital and economic institutions. It offers an argument in three parts: part 1 argues that what economists call “capital” is an abstraction that refers to various complex forms of energy—natural, social, and cultural—organized for specific purposes or ends; and that these same forms of organized energy are referred to by theologians and Christian believers as spirit. Part 2 examines the modern business corporation, the primary institutional form of capital in the modern economy. Part 3 integrates the various parts of the argument with an analysis of financial capital and its tenuous, if not destructive, relationship to spirit, stewardship, and the holiness of life.

Keywords: true wealth; spirit; capital; organized energy; corporation; common wealth

Chapter.  13217 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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