capitalism Archives - Eve Poole

Joy and Prosperity

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Paper given at the University of Aberdeen, 11 May 2017 

Luke 18:22-3 ‘Jesus said, “You still lack one thing: Sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” But when the rich young man heard this, he became very sad, because he was extremely wealthy.’

The hypothesis of this Joy and Prosperity event is that Christians have traditionally driven a wedge between them. A bit like the rich young man, there has been a feeling that you can’t have both joy and prosperity: blessed are the poor. Today we are testing that assumption, and my contribution is to look at the question through the lens of the axioms of classical economic thought. Read More

7 Deadly Sins – capitalism’s flat-earth problem and what to do about it

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JustShare Lecture – St Mary-le-Bow Church – 29 January 2014 at 6.05pm

In general, market capitalism depends on 7 big ideas. Economists like to look scientific, so they tend to present these ideas as laws of nature. But even scientific truth is not this fixed, and the flat-earthers have moved on. But not so the Economists. The 7 big ideas that served the market so well in the past have now become sins not virtues, and are toxic to its future. And unless we correct the system at a fundamental level, reform is doomed to fail. But where to start? Tonight I’ll start with a quick run down on Capitalism’s 7 Deadly Sins. Then I will talk about the theology that informs my critique and ask some tricky questions. After all, it’s hardly fair to attack the market’s beliefs without being candid about my own. Finally, I’ll suggest ways in which Christians everywhere can get involved in the market’s reform.

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Of the Dome and its fleet of domed tents

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I visited my accountant recently, who has on his wall an old print of London, which depicts a blizzard of church spires. What do we – quite literally – look up to these days? Tower 42, Canada Tower, the Gherkin, the Shard…most of which are cathedrals to the financial institutions they house. Aspiring? Inspiring? I can’t help thinking that a society’s tallest buildings say something about what that community holds most dear. Read More

3 ways to change the world

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Lent Talk, St Luke’s Chelsea, Sunday 13 March 2011

My title for today is The Church on Capitalism. What would be really clever is if I were able to make lots of links to the reading about lost sheep or lost coins. But this is no ordinary sermon, it is the first talk of a series of ‘voices of the congregation,’ so I will not attempt to beat the clergy at their own game. Rather, I want to talk to you about why I have spent the last few years writing a book about theology and capitalism, and why I think you should care. Read More

Theology of Money

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This week I am back at Douai Abbey finishing off my PhD. Today I am reading Philip Goodchild’s Theology of Money. In it he argues that money is more powerful than God. This is because money, through credit, naturally multiplies, endlessly and exponentially, in order to keep repaying the debts it incurs en route, like restless air seeking a vacuum. The implication is that God, or religion, is not programmed for growth in the same way. I like Goodchild’s use of money as a metaphor and his recognition that money is essentially an article of faith. However, he does not develop his argument far enough. Read More

Head West?

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Currently I am addicted to The Wire. When I last saw Dominic West in action, he was Edward Voysey in Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance at The National. Both are essentially about economics. The Voysey Inheritance is the story of a son finding out that his father, a much-respected solicitor, has been speculating with his clients’ capital, paying them an ordinary rate of interest and pocketing the difference. Written in Home Counties 1905, the world it portrays is vastly different from the world of The Wire, which is about drugs and corruption in modern-day Baltimore. Read More


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I gave a paper on Saturday at the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics’ annual conference at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. The conference theme was the Ideology of Managerialism in Church, State and Politics. My paper was entitled In Praise of Managerialism. What a very peculiar experience. I found it all rather perplexing. I think these intelligent people may well be slightly confused. I suspect their issue is more with capitalism than management, and that they may be killing the messenger by mistake. Read More

The Travels of Marco Poolo, or why Communists make such good Capitalists

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I have just returned from a most thought-provoking visit to Beijing. I was there with our Ashridge MBA students – a fabulously interesting and gifted bunch – and our visit combined sight-seeing with study. China is the world’s 4th largest economy and is growing fast. China also holds 20% of the world’s foreign exchange reserves and is manufacturing most of the world’s goods – as well as disposing of much of the world’s waste. It is hard not to become blasé about the huge numbers that are bandied around about China, but the sheer scale and efficiency is genuinely mind-boggling. Read More