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The Moral Challenges of Economic Equality and Diversity

Philosophia Reformata 78, no. 2 (2013), special issue

First Amsterdam Kuyper Seminar, "Economics, Christianity & the Crisis: Towards a New Architectonic Critique," VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands, January 8-9, 2013

13 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2013 Last revised: 25 Oct 2013

Jordan J. Ballor

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty; Journal of Markets & Morality

Date Written: September 25, 2013

Abstract

Attention to economic inequality has increased in the wake of the global financial crisis, and along with this increased attention has come the need for reconsideration of the dynamics of moral reflection on inequality. Inequality is often viewed as a negative in terms of economic and social costs. But there are also moral challenges that arise from inequality. The Christian tradition emphasizes the diversity, and therefore the inequality, of the created order, and as such inequality is not simply a result of sin. After the fall into sin, there are new dynamics which consist of sinful kinds of inequality as well as sinful attitudes towards the gifts and endowments of others. This “grief” at the good of others has been classically understood as the vice of envy (invidia). This article argues for the ongoing relevance of envy as a particularly important moral category for evaluation of economic inequality.

Keywords: envy, equality, economic inequality, happiness, social justice, morality, markets

Suggested Citation

Ballor, Jordan J., The Moral Challenges of Economic Equality and Diversity (September 25, 2013). Philosophia Reformata 78, no. 2 (2013), special issue; First Amsterdam Kuyper Seminar, "Economics, Christianity & the Crisis: Towards a New Architectonic Critique," VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands, January 8-9, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2201640 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2201640

Jordan J. Ballor (Contact Author)

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty ( email )

98 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States
6164543080 (Phone)
6164549454 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.acton.org

Journal of Markets & Morality ( email )

98 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
United States
6164543080 (Phone)
6164549454 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.acton.org

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