Liberation Theology, the New Religious Political Right, and Veblen's Ambivalent View of Christianity

Leathers, Charles C.
December 1984
Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Dec84, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p1155
Academic Journal
In this article, economists have offered a generalized "Veblenian" perspective on only the two polar cases of contemporary social-political activism by Christian groups. If time had permitted, several other cases of Christian social-political activism should have been included, for example, the role of the Catholic Church in Poland, the controversy over the alleged "left-wing" social-political activities of the National Council of Churches, the sanctuary movement, which involves a number of the U.S. churches providing aid to illegal refugees from El Salvador, and the U.S. Catholic Bishops' letter on nuclear destruction. On a broader front, moving away from the narrow focus on Christianity, a Veblenian perspective on the Iranian Islamic revolution under the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini regime would be most interesting. Finally, economists have made no attempt to investigate the possible sources of Veblen's vision of a natural Christianity, which may reflect to some extent writer Edward Bellamy's influence. Nor were economists able to explore the link between economist Thorstein Veblen's "Christian morals" and the "non-invidious interest" discussed in The Theory of the Leisure Class.


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