A theological critique of economic relationships, arguing that the Christian message of reconciliation with God subverts the sociopolitical models that theology has often taken for granted.
Trade Information: LPOD
Available as: Paperback (eBook edition available soon)
Specifications: 229x153mm, 272pp
Published: January 2017
Christian engagement with economics tends to baptise pre-existing sociopolitical perspectives, thereby assuming a predetermined metaphysical narrative. What happens when the story of the development of economics, told from an anthropological and sociological perspective, is juxtaposed with a biblical theology that focuses primarily on relationships? Wagenfuhr tests a theological method grounded in three kinds of relationships: Creator-creature, estrangement, and Reconciler-reconciled, by comparing these with a fourth relationship: the economic. He argues that economic relationships, and the worlds they have created throughout history, are the fruit of relationships estranged from God. Much theology has been committed to a metaphysic rooted in the reality of economics and has told a metaphysical story that legitimises current sociopolitical realities. Wagenfuhr's contention is that reconciliation with God is entirely subversive to economic relationships. No economic relationship or system is established or justified by God; but neither does he reject them. Instead, the love of God in Christ speaks the economic language of a people, with a critical edge, leading to loving subversion of any and all economic relationships. Plundering Egypt calls for a robust theology that offers the post-Christendom church a renewed sense of the total scale of God's mission of reconciliation.
1. The Theology of Relationship
2. A History of Economic Relationships
3. The Creator-Creature Relationship
4. Estrangement: Creating Cosmos
5. Reconciliation: Subverting Economic Relations
6. Plundering Egypt: Ethics
7. Conclusion: The Great Commission
Ancient Document Index
G.P. Wagenfuhr (PhD, University of Bristol) is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (ECO). He has spoken internationally on Jacques Ellul and an engagement between sociology and theology.
"One part the intellectual-historical narration of MacIntyre, one part the ideological criticism of Žižek, and another part the theological exegesis of Bonhoeffer, Gregory Wagenfuhr's study offers a compelling account of the ways in which the logic of monetary economics has dominated and continues to shape human relationships. The tonic he proposes is a rediscovery of the radically subversive form of Christian existence prescribed in the New Testament – one in which reconciliation, rather than exchange, sets us free. For anyone despairing the domesticated gospel of Christendom, this book will be a cup of cold water in the desert. An exciting read!"
Justin Stratis, Tutor in Christian Doctrine, Director of Postgraduate Research, Trinity College Bristol