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Homo Economicus as Fallen Man: The Need for Theological Economics

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Abstract

Once dominant in mainstream economics discourse, theology has not played any significant role in that discourse for more than a century. Yet the economics discipline has much to gain by devoting more scholarly attention to theologically-informed economic inquiry, which is neither the reserve of economists who believe in the divine‑ nor limited to a single religion. Theological considerations can yield both better positive and normative economic analysis, as this article illustrates through examples regarding economic inequality, work, debt, and trade. Theology cannot be the sole source of economic understanding, though, as the article demonstrates using a narrative analogous to the biblical story of the fall of man. However, theological insights can nonetheless complement our understanding of economics through other means.

Robert C. Tatum, "Homo Economicus as Fallen Man: The Need for Theological Economics," Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 127-140

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