The Economic Justice Project is my work in advancing economic justice rooted in scripture, theology, and moral philosophy. This is especially the case in advocating continued support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are the successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These are measurable goals and targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women.
I have been in ordained ministry for over fifteen years and an economist for over twenty years. Much of my work as an economist, and important in my vocation as a priest, are issues of economic justice. This is rooted in the Baptismal Promises and teachings of of my Christian faith. As priest and theologian I rely on my study of biblical texts, the social context of Jesus, and church history to shape my understanding of the Gospels. There is a clear Christian witness for economic justice — a theme central to both Old Testament prophets and Jesus’s teachings.
As an economist I have always been uneasy with the economics profession having lost its foundation in moral philosophy. This is not to say that economics is absent of economists who advance ethical economic thinking or work for economic justice. There are many, in fact, who do. Nonetheless, economics as a field having emerged out of moral philosophy is not part of standard curriculum in economics departments. Most damaging has been the repeated reading (and quoting) out of context Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations to advocate for an extreme “free market” approach to economic theory and policy which is void of moral decision-making.
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