Chapter

Some Comparisons and Preliminary Conclusions

in Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226137063
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226137087 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226137087.003.0012
Some Comparisons and Preliminary Conclusions

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Throughout its history, the Christian religion has been the starting point for remarkably diverse—even contradictory—political, social, and economic ideologies. Conservatives, for example, can often find within Christianity the intellectual and theological resources they are looking for to make sense of, or even legitimize, the world in which they live or the one they are desperately trying to maintain. But it is equally true that Christianity has within it the intellectual and theological resources to effectively critique any given social, political, or economic order. While Orestes Brownson and Stephen Colwell were primarily concerned about individuals— especially working-class individuals—and to what extent the modernizing economy was harming them, the clerical economists were more interested in the national or international picture and how individuals were supposed to fit into it. They did care about individuals and individual morality, but they were more concerned with building and maintaining the nation's economic order, prosperity, and strength. National order and prosperity were some of the clerical economists' main reasons for teaching political economy and encouraging economic modernization in the first place.

Keywords: clerical economists; Orestes Brownson; Stephen Colwell; individuals; morality; economic order; political economy; economic modernization; Christianity

Chapter.  4535 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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