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Christian Theology and the Human Ontology of Market Capitalism

John R. Schneider


This article is focused on the fairly widespread judgment among intellectuals in the humanitiesand notably in Christian moral theology and ethicsthat market capitalism is animated by a human ontology that brings forth the twin deadly evils of human reification within a vicious order of commodification. Christian theologians commonly adopt this analysis and thereby render themselves incapable of engaging cultures of capitalism in constructive theoretical terms. Instead, they devote themselves in writings and classroom lectures to the intellectual and practical demolition of capitalism. The author contends that this neo-Marxist analysis of capitalism fails to account for the key role of human capital and enterprise in economic theory and practice and that it is at any rate un-Christian. Properly understood, the Christian ontology of the imago Dei provides very strong points of correlation between the human visions of Christianity and capitalism, and it strongly encourages a theology of mutual engagement with the economic culture.

John R. Schneider, "Christian Theology and the Human Ontology of Market Capitalism," Journal of Markets & Morality 10, no. 2 (Fall 2007): 279-298

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