Tag Archives: Economic Justice

Faith and Society in the UK

By Symon Hill

Last month, four women calmly stood up during evensong in St Paul’s Cathedral in London, walked to the front and chained themselves to the pulpit. They read out a statement about economic injustice and urged the Christian Church to take sides with the poor. Outside, several other activists – myself included – unfurled a banner reading “Throw the moneychangers out of the Temple”.[i]

The actions triggered national media coverage and internet discussion. The messages we received included support, challenges, friendly disagreement and outright abuse. Somebody sent me a tweet threatening to “rip your head off” for not showing “respect” to the church. Continue reading

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Liberal Protestants and the Occupy movement’s critique of inequality: a cultural gap?

By Paul Lichterman

Courtesy of the Occupy movement, journalists and social critics in the past year have been talking a great deal more than before about a stark divide between the super-rich and the ninety-nine percent. For religious or religiously literate people it is hardly a new topic. We might suppose that in the U.S., today’s mainline Protestant inheritors of the late-nineteenth century social gospel have powerful theological resources for thinking about the growing economic divide and its effects on the social fabric. Mainline Protestant denominations are the ones more likely than their theologically conservative Protestant counterparts to affirm efforts to change the social world rather than see social change as a distraction from personal piety focused on the next world. Theologically liberal Protestantism, strong in Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist and Congregationalist traditions in the U.S., do not lack for text on economic justice or the primacy of people, and God, over profits.[i] Yet it is not clear that the politically progressive voices of mainline Protestants are prominent in America’s vexed, current conversation about money and power. Continue reading

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OWS and Responsible Banking

Since its beginnings in September, much commentary on Occupy Wall Street has focused on what, if any, coherent political platforms its participants espouse and on whether the movement will a) flame out, or b) get co-opted by the political establishment. But because the Occupy Wall Street protests remain pointedly non-programmatic and non-hierarchical, commentators have been able (or forced?) to treat them as a cipher with which to forward their own political agendas. As a result, there has been an inordinate amount of commentary telling the movement what it is, where it comes from, and what it should be doing. That said, one theme running through the Occupy protests has been a critique of the close relationships between the financial industry and government which, given the continuing foreclosure crisis across the country, has provided a potential object of attention for protestors, activists, and policy-makers to work together. Continue reading

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