The Moral Economy Series looks at the faith tradition of proclaiming economic justice, economics’ roots in moral philosophy, and how we might restore a sense of ethical economics toward building a moral economy that works for all. The Rev. Jay Lawlor draws on over twenty years of exploring the intersection of faith and economics in this new blog series on the Moral Economy.


Ethical Economics is not a purely Christian endeavor. In fact, one need not be Christian to be a proponent of ethical economics. One, does, however, need to recognize there is a moral or ethical component to economic study and decision-making. Economics was originally considered a part of moral philosophy and ...
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Early Christian Communities & the Poor Early Christian communities took quite seriously their responsibility in caring for one another and others in need. This does not mean that they always got it right – as many of the Epistles address, but they often were intentional communities of faith that are ...
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Jesus: Good News to the Poor In the gospels we find that God’s concern for the conditions of the poor, vulnerable, and oppressed has not changed. Neither has God’s demand for justice. Jesus’ teachings and manner of life indicate that resources must be shared more equitably by creating access to ...
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In the United States we have a clear separation of church and state. Since the 18th century, Western society has cultivated distinctions between family (kinship), economics, politics, and religion. Such distinctions were unknown to society depicted in the New Testament. Jesus, and his disciples who formed the Church, could not ...
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The prophet Isaiah reveals God’s preferential option for the poor and demands distributive justice to release them from their impoverishment (e.g. Isa 61:1-2); and that God will judge the poor with righteousness (e.g. Isa. 11:4). Jeremiah proclaims that God will defend the rights of the needy (Jer. 5:26-29), and Isaiah ...
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Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), there is witness and testimony that poverty and oppression factor significantly in the sin and brokenness of the world. Because of this, God demands justice for the poor and oppressed as part of the reconciliation that must occur. God’s sense of justice for the ...
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The Bible contains over 2,000 verses about poverty and presents a number of descriptions for what it was like to be poor in biblical times. There are the orphans and widows (Exodus 22:22; Isaiah 1:17; Deuteronomy 14:29; James 1:27), the sick (Matthew 25:36; Acts 19:12), the lame and the blind ...
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The economy does not work equally or equitably for everyone. Decades of reporting on poverty, wage inequality, wealth inequality, disparities based on race and gender, and a shrinking middle class offer ample evidence of economic distress for millions of Americans. What is important to remember is that these are not ...
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