Economics and the Moral Theology of Mutual Benefits
23 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2022 Last revised: 30 Jan 2023
Date Written: September 26, 2022
This paper situates the political economy of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith in relation to their emphasis in ethics on serving the good of our neighbors. In consonance with Protestant discourses on vocation and moral economy, these three Scots came to depict honest commerce as a mode of cooperation—either literally with God or metaphorically with our fellow human beings—through which we serve the common good. That depiction energized the emerging authorization of commercial enterprises and the importance of freedom, personal stewardship, and industry to the prosperity of humankind.
Keywords: vocation, theology, mutual benefit, division of labor, Hutcheson, Adam Smith, David Hume, common good
JEL Classification: B12, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation