Is Capitalism Incompatible With Christianity?

David Trammel's picture

Newtonfin posted this a link in this week's Ecosophia post comments.

What Lies Beyond Capitalism? - A Christian Exploration

What is interesting is that the author, David Bentley Hart, appears to be a well read bible scholar, not a right or left leaning political commentator.

Its a long article but makes a good case that modern capitalism as practiced today is very much counter to the preachings of the Bible. He wonders what might come after the economic collapse we know if coming.

Worth the read.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Interesting. I will definitely give this a read. Thank you!

A few weeks back I cataloged the book "All things in common: the economic practices of the early Christians". It is on my reading list now.

Around the corner from me and also on my street there exists a Christian community, a church known as "Just some Jesus people". My daughter was friends with their kids growing up, and the lead minister married my wife & I in a non-religious ceremony. Anyway, he had come out of one of the mega churches, as a member and really disliked it, so became ordained and started a "home church". There are few homes on our block with members of their church. They meet in their house, and homes, and do a lot of activities together. Lou, the minister, also has taken in a lot of people over the years in his home. I'm not sure of their exact economic practices but they do share a lot. Lou also ran an awesome skateboard company out of his house for years. Sadly closed it this past summer. (They made decks in his basement.) In any case I would say these folks are "real" Christians. There has been a quiet movement away from the big churche's and some people are going back to living as they imagined the early Christians might have. Because they have a strong interlinked community these home churches will be well situated in some ways for the times ahead.

Here is the blurb for All things in Common by Roman A. Montero.

All Things in Common gets behind the "communism of the apostles" passages in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37, using the anthropological categories of "social relationships" espoused by David Graeber and other anthropologists. Looking at sources ranging from the Qumran scrolls to the North African apologist Tertullian to the Roman satirist Lucian, All Things in Common reconstructs the economic practices of the early Christians and argues that what is described in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 is a long-term, widespread set of practices that were taken seriously by the early Christians, and that differentiated them significantly from the wider world. This book takes into account Judean and Hellenistic parallels to the early Christian community of goods, as well as the socioeconomic context from which it came, and traces its origins back to the very teachings of Jesus and his declaration of the Jubilee. From back cover.

Contents: "he economic context of first-century Palestine -- Economic relationships -- The Essenes, a Jewish Messianic community -- Hellenistic concepts of friendship, common property, and attitudes toward the poor -- The economic practices of the early Christians -- "The tragedy of the commons" -- The view from the outside -- The theological origins of Christian sharing -- A universal community -- Why others get it wrong -- Conclusion."

Ah, from what I can tell, Plough is so far canted toward the left that they are preaching to the choir and assume you have memorized the hymnal.

I've been reading American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America by Chris Hedges

The Right is all about Prosperity Gospel right up until the Rapture. God wants you to send your hard earned money to the mega preachers so they can wallow in excess.