It’s not hard to see why the economics profession was seduced by mathematics. Isaac Newton had turned science on its head, applying the scientific method with powerful mathematics. Those who followed him demonstrated how humankind could gain full control of the world around us with these new tools of power and control. It was a… Continue reading Homo Economicus
I loved William Cavanaugh’s book, Being Consumed, though I was frustrated by his reluctance to go beyond the boundaries of his topic. His topic covered the social and spiritual dysfunctions of consumerism as a culture. He was rightly hesitant to stray into questions of reform. Not that he avoided it totally. His most strongly expressed… Continue reading The Call for Reform
Let’s finish off Cavanaugh’s Being Consumed by looking at his last chapter on Scarcity. I’ll deliberately write this a few months after reading the chapter, as I’ve done with previous chapters. It allows me to go beneath the details (half of which I’ve forgotten) and focus on the central message that it nourished in me. And… Continue reading Scarcity vs Abundance
Let me tackle the toughest one out of William Cavanaugh’s Being Consumed — in my most theological post to date. I had to read his Chapter 3 three times before I could get a simple handle on it. (There’s always a simple handle, despite what they tell you. I’d never have passed my PhD exams if… Continue reading Will the Eucharist Consume You?
William Cavanaugh’s recent book, Being Consumed, does a great job in describing the addictive dysfunction of consumer society. But I want to focus on the deeper underlying perspective at the root of that problem. Why do we work? Why do we consume? And which one comes first? It sounds a little abstract, but it’s the… Continue reading Work to Consume or Consume to Work?
Let’s look at Chapter 2 of William Cavanaugh’s, Being Consumed. It doesn’t take long to notice he’s saying that consumption is not really the problem. Acquisition is. We don’t want to consume stuff, we just want to get stuff. So It’s not the material enjoyment of consumption we’re really seeking. When we get it, we… Continue reading Phantom Consumerism
Theologian William Cavanaugh wrote a great book entitled Being Consumed, primarily about the dysfunction of consumer culture. He begins the book with a chapter on economics and freedom which needs a little commentary on the economics. He’s a professional theologian but an amateur economist — so a professional economist but amateur theologian can provide some… Continue reading Economics and Freedom
Searching for the Soul of Economics — Building on Cavanaugh Introduction It’s not only that our economy is morally compromised. It’s more that it has drawn ordinary decent people into a morally compromised lifestyle, largely without their informed consent — and has put in place a regime that denies community, vocation and justice. Such is… Continue reading Searching for the Soul of Economics