To What Ends for Theology-Oriented Economic Policymaking?

Robert C. Tatum
University of North Carolina Asheville

This paper explores the need for theology-oriented economic policymaking, as well as its possible sacred and secular ends. To facilitate this exploration, America’s Social Gospel movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries is examined as a historical case of theology-oriented economic policymaking. True to form, its policies were oriented by theology and supported by economic analysis, while seeking to reform the economic system, rather than replace it. Arguably, a driving force in the Social Gospel movement’s policy successes was the postmillennial eschatological views held by many of its adherents. As postmillennialism is not widely shared and unlikely to sustain a movement, this paper considers eschatological concepts of proleptic anticipation and memento mori to exemplify ways in which theology can presently inform and sustain economic policymaking toward worthwhile ends.

theological economics, policymaking, eschatology, Social Gospel

14 December 2020 (first view)
23 March 2021

How to cite
Tatum, Robert C. 2021. “To What Ends for Theology-Oriented Economic Policymaking?” Journal of Economics, Theology and Religion 1, no. 1: 65-80


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