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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Earlier Anglican approaches to economics were influenced by its historical position as an established church with considerable political influence. This position has changed in the past half century, and Anglican economists since the pioneering post war work of Denys Munby in Britain and Paul Heyne in North America are moving toward a position of practical neutrality of theology with respect to economic science. Anglicans like Geoffrey Brennan correspondingly defend the economists’ scientific model of the atomistic agent as a legitimate tool for Christian economists. By the same token, Anglican thinking gives a role to theology in motivating economic enquiry and assessing the operation of a virtuous market economy, with the work of Donald Hay and historian Anthony Waterman representing examples of this. To date, arguably, Anglican ethical critiques are yet to convincingly dislodge the classical proposition that markets raise the net supply of positive behaviors congruent with moral sentiments, doing so more predictably and at lower cost than any feasible alternative. Equally, observed short run moral deviations still occur in practice, and Anglicans have shown interest in the ordained role of government and how theology might guide remedial economic policy, with much room still left for further calibration of this question.

Keywords: interdisciplinary, economics, theology, religion, Christianity, neutrality, Anglican, virtue

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