Abundant Life for All: Reflections on the Ecumenical Debate about Economic Issues

Emilio Castro

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 10/1/1992

Issue: Economics and Justice (Vol. 12, No 4, Fall, 1992)

Economics is about the daily life of people; it is about procuring food, clothes, and shelter and performing meaningful work. Therefore it should not come as a surprise that churches and Christians have always been concerned about economic issues. These basic convictions guided the life of the first Christian community in Jerusalem which shared property and possessions and distributed means according to needs (Acts 2 and 4). Church fathers like St. John Chrysostomos, St. Basil, and St. Ambrose never tired of denouncing unjust economic systems and took initiatives to protect the poor and the sick. Later, certain religious orders and monasteries, like the Waldensians, followed similar lines of action, while economic issues were also taken up by reformers such as Luther and Calvin. The modern ecumenical movement, therefore, stands in a long tradition when it tries to address economic issues.

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