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The Analogical Concepts of Economics and Theology: A Reformational-Philosophical Perspective

Joost Hengstmengel


Economics and theology share a long history of interaction and mutual influence. In the nineteenth century, their ways parted. In the past few decades, there is a new interest in the combination of both sciences. A promising new approach focuses on concepts that are at the heart of both economics and theology. By studying and relating them, economists and theologians may develop a richer language and reach a higher level of realisticness. According to the tradition of reformational philosophy, conceptual similarities across different academic disciplines are indeed to be expected. They point to the limits and interrelatedness of the individual sciences, and hence to a deeper coherence and meaning of reality. This article discusses what the neo-Calvinist philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and their followers has to say for the relationship between economics and theology. Focusing on the theory of analogy as developed by Dooyeweerd, it shows that reformational philosophy offers a rich framework to clarify their intersections and interdependences.

Joost Hengstmengel, "The Analogical Concepts of Economics and Theology: A Reformational-Philosophical Perspective," Journal of Markets & Morality 25, no. 1 (2022): 23-43

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