Of Competition and Liberalism, Luxury and Speculation

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:
Of Competition and Liberalism, Luxury and Speculation

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All of the pastoral moralists were committed to the most basic principles of economic liberalism. Everyone, for example, agreed about the goodness of private property. Joseph Emerson's entire sermon on Christian Economy was a defense of the proposition. This type of realistic assessment of competition was one of the pastoral moralists' most fundamental axioms. Like trade itself, competition was simply a reality—a fact of life in a liberal society that needed to be navigated properly, not condemned categorically. The unavoidable truth of the matter was that self-interested competition was a necessary component of a market-capitalist society. It was the motivating engine that drove the economy, but that also had to be restrained and subjected to the boundaries of Christian morality.

Keywords: pastoral moralists; economic liberalism; private property; Joseph Emerson; Christian Economy; competition; morality

Chapter.  4476 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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