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By Gary Dorrien

Sourcing the foremost traditions of revolutionary Christian social ethics—social gospel liberalism, Niebuhrian realism, and liberation theology—Gary Dorrien argues for the social-ethical necessity of social justice politics. In conscientiously reasoned essays, he makes a speciality of 3 matters: the ethics and politics of financial justice, racial and gender justice, and antimilitarism, creating a confident case for monetary democracy, in addition to a liberationist realizing of racial and gender justice and an anti-imperial type of liberal internationalism.

In Dorrien's view, the 3 significant discourse traditions of revolutionary Christian social ethics percentage a basic dedication to remodel the constructions of society towards social justice. His reflections on those issues function leading edge analyses of significant figures, reminiscent of Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, James Burnham, Norman Thomas, and Michael Harrington, and an in depth engagement with modern intellectuals, comparable to Rosemary R. Ruether, Katie Cannon, Gregory Baum, and Cornel West. Dorrien additionally weaves his own stories into his narrative, particularly his involvement in social justice activities. He incorporates a targeted bankruptcy at the 2008 presidential crusade and the historical candidacy of Barack Obama.

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Extra resources for Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics for Social Justice

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Wherever I touched, there was the kingdom of God . . ”22 Revolutionary Christianity contended that the kingdom of God is always at work toward the realized life of God. Rauschenbusch stressed that this idea was beautiful, comprehensive, filled with justice-making ethical content, and evangelical: the authority of the Lord Jesus was behind it. But the year passed, the book never quite came together, Rauschenbusch returned to his congregation, and the following year he married a schoolteacher, Pauline Rother, who helped him cope with his worsening deafness.

Capitalism has overdeveloped the selfish instincts in us all and left the capacity of devotion to larger ends shrunken and atrophied,” he lamented. He worried that Americans lifted themselves to a sense of common purpose only when they went to war. He feared that the habits of cooperation would be hardest to learn in a culture that celebrated isolation, self-preoccupation, acquisitiveness, and will to power. He was concerned that reformers would settle for liberalism: “We fritter away precious time by dallying at the half-way house of mere public supervision and control.

He could be sloppy in failing to distinguish between direct workers’ ownership, mixed forms of cooperative ownership, and public ownership of production. He offered no help in delineating between various schools of socialism, and he had a tendency to adopt utopian fancies, for example, that prices would be based entirely on services rendered in a socialist society. indb 25 8/18/10 8:12 AM t h e s o c i a l g os p e l a n d n iebuh rian realis m | 26 Rauschenbusch’s weakness for idealistic rhetoric caused him to exaggerate the extent to which economic democracy could replace economic competition.

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