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Radical Orthodoxy Encounters Economics: Deeper Engagement Needed—A Response to John Lunn

Paul Oslington

Abstract


John Lunn’s recent article in this journal is one of the few attempts by economists to engage with one of the most influential movements in contemporary theology, the Radical Orthodoxy movement of John Milbank, Graham Ward, Catherine Pickstock, Adrian Pabst, and others. However, Lunn fails to properly contextualize the movement, bases his engagement on a small and idiosyncratic sample of their writings on economics, and mischaracterizes their views on some issues. This does not mean that Radical Orthodoxy’s treatment of economics is beyond criticism. Parts of its account of economics are inaccurate, and there are questions about the consistency of its theological and economic arguments. Despite these flaws there is much that economists can learn from grappling with the questions posed by Radical Orthodoxy, because it raises important questions from outside the modern secular framework inhabited by most modern economists.

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