Jesus the Economist

“We may usefully recall here that Jesus Christ, being God as well as man, was and is a better economist than Adam Smith or John Stuart Mill.”- Bernard Dempsey, The Functional Economy, page 83 found in D. Stephen Long, The Divine Economy: Theology and the Markets, page 212-213.

When asked who his favorite political philosopher was at a 1999 debate in Iowa, then Governor George W. Bush responded,

“Jesus Christ, because he changed my life.”–Jesus the Philosopher

While D. Stephen Long notes that the Gospel remained marginal to do with Bernard Dempsey’s overall project, Dempsey at least tried to have an economics consistent with Christian tradition. I would say similarly, Christ had very little to do with much of George W. Bush’s policies.

I think what gets lost, and I see this with D. Stephen Long’s text, is that Jesus was a philosopher, a lover of wisdom, but whence comes that Wisdom? I would say the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible–the philosophies of Moses, Solomon, and Ezekiel.

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