Friday, 21 November 2008

Faith and Theology: Dishonest money: what the financial crisis tells us about ourselves

Faith and Theology: Dishonest money: what the financial crisis tells us about ourselves

It is worth reading this post for two key features: identifying the inversion of vices to virtues between Aristotle and today; and the appeal to Christians to constitute the Church.

The vices identified by Aristotle (greed, lack of self-control, profit through usury, ...) are now virtues and building blocks of the capitalist model. Having just finished with Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals, it seems apparent to me that there is a great deal of truth in what Nietzsche wrote. Morals are not universal constants in society. They change and develop over the years in order to support one class against another. The morals of the Situation (c.f. Badiou) are plastic and support the moral centre, the prevailing world order. Consequently, morals inherited through unconscious societal imitation (c.f. Girard) have feet of clay - no support for themselves. We therefore need to be careful about which moral or ethical code we promote.

Second, whether the solution fits the problem or not, the appeal for Christians to be the Church is timeless. It opposes the notion that the Church is the accidental occurrence of a group of Christians. The Church must be the Church through the intentionality of Christians. Unless Christians intend to be the Church, it will never happen. It cannot be there by accident. This might sound like tired rhetoric, but it isn't. Instead, it is a necessary and sufficient condition to establish the reality of the Church, and therefore to manifest the presence of an invisible God in the material world.
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