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Transformative Models: Economic Modeling, Relational Ontology, and the Image of God

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Abstract

This article offers a comparison between economic models and the theological concept of the image of God. There is an overlap of purpose between these two in four areas: (1) seeking to represent reality, (2) seeking to uncover the correct equilibrium of relations among actors, (3) seeking to describe and predict change through time as a basis for current action, and (4) acting as a means to change reality. Having established the conceptual overlap, it is argued that the imago dei can inform economic models by offering a better understanding of relationality or personhood. Finally, the thesis herein is compared to similar work in the field, arguing that the emphasis on ontological change represents a unique contribution.

D. Glenn Butner, Jr., "Transformative Models: Economic Modeling, Relational Ontology, and the Image of God," Journal of Markets & Morality 17, no. 2 (Fall 2014): 355-379.


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