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date: 04 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

There has been a revolution in how economists treat the subject of happiness: in happiness measurement, in new economic insights related to happiness, and in the area of policy consequences. This has the potential to set up a stimulating dialogue. This chapter works through one possible imaginary exchange of views between economists and theologians, beginning with the new awareness in economics of the relative failure of economic growth to make people happy. Not surprisingly, the immediate response of the theologian to this insight is, “We know!” Theologians have always been clear about the limitations of material growth in providing happiness. The instinct of the theologian is then to argue that this supports his or her claim that true happiness can only be found in God. Thus far, the exchange has been quite predictable. However, the conversation need not end there. The economist is able to help the theologian refine and clarify what he or she means by “Christian happiness.”

Keywords: Interdisciplinary exchange, economics, religion, Christianity, happiness, subjective well-being, Christian Hedonism, Pascal’s Wager

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