Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Christianity and Money

Next Monday at 8.00pm BBC's Radio 4 explores the topic of Christianity and Money. Luke's Gospel, for example, has much to say about wealth, poverty, money and riches. For Luke, salvation has practical implications: it means "filling the hungry with good things... and sending the rich away empty..." And in Luke's Gospel, people are wealthy: Levi (chapter 5) and a listener (chapter 14: "When you give a banquet..."

Here's the blurb for the program:


Giles Fraser tells the story of how Christians came to have such mixed feelings about a subject we all obsess about: money.
Giles is the Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral. As well as being responsible for the Cathedral's money, his job is to reach out to the people who work in the City of London.
St Paul's is located deep within the boiler room of global capitalism. Within just a few hundred yards of the cathedral are located most of the world's most important financial institutions. Billions and billions of pounds, dollars and yen are traded near hear every day. So how does the church make sense of all this financial activity? Jesus told his followers to give up all their possessions, yet the church itself is heavily involved in financial investment. Could this be why the church didn't seem to have much to say during the recent financial crisis?
In this first programme, Giles investigates the teachings of Jesus and the early church about the value of poverty. He talks to church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch, and visits an austere Franciscan Friary in Dorset where the monks have a real commitment to poverty. Giles, very sceptical himself, challenges Brother Sam, the head of the Franciscans, and asks: why shouldn't Christians make money?

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