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Eve Poole, author - Eve's Commonplace
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evepoole
evepoole
Eve Poole, author

Today I am VERY EXCITED, because today Palgrave publishes my first book. It's based on my PhD and is entitled The Church on Capitalism. The book examines Church of England views on capitalism from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the collapse in credit, and sets out a framework for a better theology of capitalism. The Church both directly and indirectly has a huge amount of financial muscle, and how it uses this influence really matters. My contention is that the Church has been too happy to follow fashion economically rather than to lead it, and that the current period of economic uncertainty offers what might be considered a kairos moment for the Church to make the marketplace more virtuous. Of course, the Church is already doing so, through ethical investment and social entrepreneurship, but these efforts needs to gather pace and scale to have real impact, and ordinary church-goers need to understand their power and responsibility to act, as consumers, employers, employees, investors, educators and pensioners. Christians are estimated to control $10 trillion around the world, and 6% of the world's investment capital is in the hands of religious bodies. In the UK alone, every year local churches collectively spend £800m, and give £45m to other charities as well as 278.4 million hours of volunteer service. 1 million children are taught by the Church of England, who run 1 in 4 of the UK's primary schools. 26 bishops sit in the House of Lords as Lords Spiritual, and there are 26,000 clergy working in communities in the UK. In England, 7 in 10 people consider themselves 'Christian' (35.7 million people), with half of the population identifying themselves as belonging to the Church of England (25.5 million people). Each Sunday, a million people listen to a sermon at a Church of England church. Even the NRA only claims to have 4 million members, and they are reckoned to be one of the the most powerful lobbies in the world. Every time you spend money, you are essentially voting. Your money sends information into the market about what you and consumers like you value, and this information is used to generate feedback to deliver more of this value. I wonder what kind of market you are creating with your money?


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