Jubilee Economics Then and Now
For Sale from JEM
Ross and Gloria Kinsler (editors), God’s Economy: Biblical Studies from Latin America (Orbis Press) $15
This boldly titled volume presents 13 articles that have previously been available only in Spanish. Lots of surprises because conventional readings of biblical passages look different through the lens of Latin America’s poverty.
Ulrich Duchrow and Franz Hinkelammert, Property for People, Not for Profit (Zed Books) $14
This team of a German and Costa Rican scholarship shows how property has come so often to be given priority over people, and ways to correct it. Includes how John Locke gave a rationale for putting property ahead of people, how the market has become totalitarian rather than democratic, and how the religion of economics or Mammon has made the global economy a confessional issue for churches and people of all faiths.
Ched Myers, The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics (Tell the Word) $3.00
This small book describes what “sabbath economics” is. Its seven short chapters by a leading interpreter of biblical economics are an excellent primer and handout piece.
Many of the books in this bibliography can be purchased online as used or new from independent bookstores that share the common website, abebooks.com. In this way we can support locally-owned bookstores instead of chains. Some books are available directly from JEM for a discount.
Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3:0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons. Berret-Koehler, 2006
Barnes was a co-founder of Working Assets and was named Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year in 1995 for Northern California. He shows how our commonwealth is still much larger than private wealth, despite the awesome power of corporations to privatize or decimate more and more of it. He guides us beyond Capitalism 1.0, which was the economy when demand exceeded supply (before WWII) to Capitalism 2.0, which is what we currently have, to Capitalism 3.0, a version that is commons-based. He makes the case for us to propertize, but not privatize. By placing commonwealth as property of trustees legally bound to serve the common good, he believes we can organize the commons to counter the corporation’s purpose of maximizing profit and the government’s inability to protect the commonwealth from corporate privatization mechanisms.
Cobb, John and Herman Daly. For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future. Beacon Press. 2nd edition, 1994.
Cobb, the theologian, and Daly, the economist, give us a masterful treatment of how our economy typically functions for the good of some and then how it needs to be redirected to work for the common good. The change needed, they argue, is a paradigm shift so great that, if it happens, it will be a religious event whether or not it is recognized as such. They address failures of economics as an academic discipline, outline the new beginnings necessary, and show how policies in favor of community can be honed in the areas of trade, land use, population, agriculture, industry, labor, taxes, and national security.
Dowd, Michael. Thank God for Evolution. The Penguin Group, 2009.
The cover describes the book as the marriage of science and religion and a book 13.7 billion years in the making. It presents cosmology as the great story and shows how it is a primary text of knowledge and spirituality. It corrects the laxity or even hostility with which faith traditions have treated cosmology. This book shows how contemporary science and spirituality (religion) are kindling romance anew. Without the great story of the cosmos, civilization stories of domination and us-them seem bigger than they are.
Eisler, Riane. The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics. Berrett-Koehler, 2007.
We have a choice to move in either direction on a continuum - either toward a partnership economy or a domination economy. Eisler’s knowledge of systems illuminates her presentation of a caring economy and her research shows how it is already being practiced and could be more so. The book is filled with studies done by women and men that show how caring is not only an important life-giving action but good economics as well. Many examples show how caring produces a better economic result than domination.
Korten, David. Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth. Berrett-Koehler, 2009.
A 12 point agenda for a new economy shows how to liberate the economy from Wall Street’s phantom wealth through practical steps to strengthen Main Street’s capacities to generate real wealth. Despite Wall Street power, Korten sees a growing movement for an economy driven by what is local, inclined toward the common good, and measured by new indicators.
Lowery, Richard. Sabbath and Jubilee. Chalice Press, 2000.
Lowery, an Old Testament professor, presents the sabbath and jubilee as utopian, but not in order to dismiss them. Some of the sabbath-jubilee does not, he says, teach social policy. But all of it is excellent theology, expressing a sacred context for applied economic and social practice. The book underscores that each household is the primary unit for living a jubilee economy.