& the Economy
This section includes
articles with themes that include trade, debt, economic justice, Jubilee,
living wage, labor/ unions, urbanization, poverty, and related topics.
The December 26, 2004 earthquake and series of tsunamis
has created a disaster throughout South Asia and East Africa. Pauline
Sathiamurthy, the executive officer of the Church of South India, sends
an initial report of the extensive damage to her land. [posted 1/4/05]
As he departs office, Colin Powell can expect a wealth
of positive commentary on his term as U.S. Secretary of State. Joseph
Mulligan is less sanguine, detailing Powell's work as an agent of a coercive
form of free market economics. [posted 12/15/04]
2001 issue of The Witness magazine
The Global City
Globalization is increasing the process of urbanization around the
world. With an emerging world order of global cities, dominated by
the agenda of the rich developed world, what are the priorities for
urban ministry? Feature articles look at the flow of capital, labor-church
relationships, and the power of controlling technology and information.
2001 issue of The Witness magazine
If the religious community wishes to be more involved in meeting the
social-welfare needs of our citizens, faithfulness demands an aggressive
commitment to bringing radical social change. Feature articles review
charitable giving, responsible wealth, and controversial political
proposals like the President's faith-based initiative.
2000 issue of The Witness magazine
For the Common Good or Ill?
The Jubilee 2000 campaign
brought increased attention to globalization. Feature articles in
this issue address international debt and the labor & environmental
impacts of globalization, and its effects on many communities, including
Central American maquilas workers, African Americans, and small rural
towns in the U.S.
There's more than one hot documentary to see this
summer: The Corporation lays bare the corporate influence in
our public policy. Bruce Campbell says the film offers an impressive array
of interviews, but a poor caricature of corporate culture. [posted 7/9/04]
The season of Pentecost arrives, a time many celebrate
the church's diversity. Yet in considering the lectionary readings for
May 30, Andrew Davey wonders if we truly realize the geographic and social
implications of the Holy Spirit today. [posted 5/26/04]
Recently, a young boy was killed in Tokyo by a revolving
door in a new office building. Sam Koshiishi reports that this incident
was no accident, but the predictable outcome of the government's avoidance
of the needs of its people. [posted 5/20/04]
Author and critic Arundhati Roy is the modern darling
of the political left. A new book of interviews with David Barsamian,
The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile , highlights her fierce
ideology. Jonathan Callard reviews this inside look at a self-described
patriot. [posted 5/20/04]
Steven Charleston, widely considered a prophetic
church leader, feels fellow justice activists should abandon the “prophetic”
advocacy style. People in the wider church are not apathetic, he says,
but victims of information overload. Instead, liturgy can help them connect
the justice dots. [posted 4/22/04]
Economic globalization is now practically impossible
for the U.S. consumer to avoid, with merchandise made around the world.
So what is a moral response to this dilemma? Each day, Daniel Webster
prays for the individuals who crafted his clothing. [posted 4/8/04]
African and U.S. Anglican leaders recently
met with Condoleezza Rice, Tommy Thompson, the president of the World
Bank, and other top governmental officials to discuss the AIDS epidemic
in Africa. John Chane, bishop of Washington, says this example of international
collaboration is critical to a broken church. [posted 3/26/04]
With El Salvador's election contextualized by endemic
poverty, emigration has been a focus for hundreds of thousands. Almost
2 million Salvadorans live in the U.S., with only 6 million relatives
in their home country. Susana Barrera examines the hope and despair in
this international phenomenon. [ En
Español and in English
Jean Bertrand-Aristide is facing an unenviable legacy:
being twice run out of elected office by military coups. The current Haitian
president spoke with Geoffrey Cook about the challenges of promoting education
and health care in a world that demands the priority of neo-liberal economic
reforms. [posted 2/27/04]
In 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, a
worker-priest named Lewis Bradford was found dead in a Ford Motor plant
in Detroit. The company said it was an "accident," but some
have alleged he was murdered for being an outspoken organizer. Bill Wylie-Kellermann
previews a new musical, Forgotten, that looks at this tragic story.
This is the most somber of recent Decembers, according
to Joseph Wakelee-Lynch, with wars abroad and an unparalleled economic
culture at home. Yet was the world so different in the first century C.E.,
he wonders? [posted 12/22/03]
Writing from Britain, Peter Selby surmises that most
people in the U.S. who support Gene Robinson's election as Bishop of New
Hampshire also opposed their government's war on Iraq. However, he finds
there to be a problematic post-colonial connection between the two concerns.
The Hebrew word "shalom" is often interpreted as
"peace," but neither that nor other translations embrace its full meaning,
according to Bill Wylie-Kellermann. In an imperial time, he finds "shalom"
to be a subversive ideology - and the very basis for parish ministry.
Multinational corporations, particularly the oil
industry, have played a key role in maintaining the status quo in Sudan
- a nation where millions have died in a tragic civil war. Roy Nielsen
offers ways North Americans can help lay the groundwork for peace. [posted
in the Chain
In modern urban society, it is easy to forget our interconnectedness
because of our very specialized roles in the huge production chain. Abagail
Nelson says its essential to walk in one anothers shoes, and
that when we do enter into anothers space, we become part of a transformation
of grace. [posted 8/7/03]
"The only type of globalization that I am for
is the one that would globalize dissent, globalize peace, and globalize
justice," says Ranjit Mathews. He relates the horror of the 9/11
attacks in the U.S. to the daily experience of death lived by people in
places like South Africa and India. [posted 8/7/03]
a Strategy for the Solomons
The Solomon Islands are once again enveloped in political
chaos and violence. Terry Brown, Anglican Bishop of Malaita, provides
a less tabloid-like perspective of the situation than the Western medias,
while calling on Australia & New Zealand to intervene. [posted 7/22/03]
The word "slavery" has very specific connotations
for most people. In reflecting on the story of Jesus temptation
in the wilderness, Michael Schut found that enslavement could mean something
else: our need to justify ourselves to others through material greed.
Mean Streak in U.S. Foreign Policy
The Project for a New American Century initiated by
Paul Wolfowitz and fellow Reaganites is the foreign policy doctrine driving
all of the Bush administrations international efforts, argues Joe
Mulligan. He links the Iraq war to a decade of U.S. belligerence and arrogance.
Anges de Sodome, une Leçon pour Vous
Modern-day political conflict is contextualized in
the biblical story of Jonah by Cameroonian writer Sybille Ngo Nyeck. Jonahs
prophetic voice and struggles against imperialism offer a metaphor for
the social disorder now seen in another era of war and struggle. In French
and English [posted 4/26/03]
Is a Social Conscience?
Social justice educator George S. Johnson has published
a new book, Beyond Guilt: Christian Response to Suffering. Jennifer
Phillips believes that Christian inquirers will find this a useful resource
in addressing the myriad of concerns in modern society. [posted 01/17/03]
Aid for Famine Relief? Not as Simple as It Appears
A growing famine in Central Africa has mobilized the
support of international food organizations to help alleviate hunger.
Elizabeth Parsons, in Zambia, analyzes how politics both in Africa
and in the donor-rich West is playing a big part in why and where
food is being distributed. [posted 11/25/02]
des Frontières de l'Imaginaire
story of Jonah being thrown off a boat is a parable for the way that the
poor and marginalized are being treated right now, say Sybille Ngo Nyeck.
Human Rights have become subject to security concerns, and economic globalization
is the beast that rules over everyone. [In French
and English.] [posted 10/11/02]
Politics: Saving the World from "Democracy"
Developmental and democratic models directed to Africa
by powerful Western agencies invariably fail. John Kaoma and Elizabeth
Parsons reflect on this dilemma based on their years of work in Zambia
and Zimbabwe. [posted 7/19/02]
Living Wage Movement: Its About More than Just Wages
believe that "living wage" campaigns are basically an effort
to raise the minimum wage in local communities. Dick Gillett says that
the "living wage" movement has a much larger vision: to address
the powers and principalities. [posted 4/22/02]
Centrifugality vs. Imperial Centripetality
Using his hometown
of Los Angeles as his primary example, noted theologian and activist Ched
Myers argues that America has always been defined by the struggle between
two realities: dominant culture ideologies and structures from above,
and multicultural populations and practices from below.
Track to Disaster for the Worlds Poor
Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is "NAFTA on steroids," according
to some observers. Tom Ambrogi says the FTAA represents the effective
takeover of global political and economic governance by transnational
corporations and he decries the Bush administrations efforts
to "fast track" this legislation through the U.S. Congress.
Vision in Liberia: Recovery or Collapse?
Liberia has suffered under corrupt and despotic leadership
and civil war for at least two decades. John and Judy Gay, who served
as missionaries in Liberia in the 60s and early 70s, returned recently
to assess the health of the church and society in this war-torn land that
they love. [posted 03/04/02]
How does one reconcile ones Christian identity
in the political arena? Judy Scherff says Jesus would be considered very
liberal in modern day American politics. She contrasts His teachings with
the legislative records of two conservative Christian members of the US
Congress to drive her point home. [posted 01/30/02]
in the Global City
An increasingly urbanized world hurts the most vulnerable
members of society, especially children. Camille Colatosti interviews
leaders of international NGOs in a search for solutions to the worldwide
plight of children, and their message is sobering, even heartbreaking.
Global Economy Will Have to Confront Its Failures
Outlining a moral challenge to a globalized economy,
Archbishop Rowan Williams details how the fast flow of unregulated global
capital has brought severe hardship to local economies. [posted 12/20/01]
Africa Revisited Grassroots Nation-Building in the Works
South Africas racist apartheid regime has been replaced by a democratic
government, the countrys old economic structure remains virtually
intact. Tim Smith, who played a key role in the anti-apartheid solidarity
movement, analyzes the economic and social challenges facing the post-apartheid
nation. [posted 11/13/01]
Effective Mechanisms in Civil Society for Conflict Transformation
The relationship between the government and civil society
is a tenuous one in many developing countries. Writing from Zimbabwe,
a nation currently grappling with a fragile political situation, George
Wauchope makes constructive recommendations for strengthening these processes.
Brave New World for Twenty-First Century Christians?
Two new books, "Beyond Colonial Anglicanism"
and "Horizons of Mission," offer significant resources about
what it means to be postcolonial Anglican Christians. John Kater critically
reviews these international perspectives on the history and future of
the church once imperialist, now indigenous. [posted 10/9/01]
As an Indian
American young person, Ranjit Mathews believes that South Asian youth
have an immense amount of opportunity but are often indifferent to the
world. He challenges his peers to move beyond self-interest and to help
from the Rubble
In the wake
of two devastating earthquakes, El Salvadoran Episcopal Bishop Martín
Barahona frankly assesses his countrys government, economy, and
social structure, as well as his developing church, in a powerful interview
with Richard Bower.
The World Trade
Organization: fix it or nix it? International political economist Patrick
Bond highly recommends a new book on globalization but also takes
issue with some of its central theses.
and the FTAA: Protesting "Free" Trade
Braley went to Quebec City for the Summit of the Americas and found a
fence in her path. She challenges the religious community to take a stronger
stand on free trade issues.
Reflections on Mordechai Vanunu and Samuel Day
on the diverse meanings of "Jubilee 2000," Middle East advocate
Patti Browning honors Israeli nuclear protester Mordechai Vanunu and the
deceased activist Sam Day.
Prayer and Action: The Seeds of a New Anglicanism?
In a post-colonial
Anglican Communion, threats of schism abound. Ian Douglas finds hope for
true communion, however, in recent efforts by Anglicans from the political
left & right to come together and seek common ground.
Urban Caucus Seeks Global Justice
A report from
a gathering of two hundred urban church activists shows how the "think
globally, act locally" motto is an imperative in an era of globalization.
Justice and Theology
Work is a huge
part of life and increasingly seems to be taking over our lives.
Yet we usually dont think about its spiritual implications. In response,
Dick Gillett proposes a theology of work.
Pins and Needles: Women of Central America Organize in the Maquilas
exhibit a legacy of social ills: sexism, union-busting, poor environmental
standards, ageism, lack of education and much more. Herb Gunn tells the
story of Maria Esperanza in Honduras, and of the hope for change in this
Church Up to Its Ears in Chicken
for dinner? Think twice. Outspoken labor activist and Episcopal priest
Jim Lewis reports on labor, environment, and social problems in the poultry
Cosmic Silence to Dancing Trinity: The Church of Sweden in a Time of Challenges
reporting on the social and cultural challenges in his nation of Sweden,
says that no one regularly goes to church. Even without parishioners,
the relationship between church & state in his society wont
let the churches close.
A View from the South
Luiz Prado argues that the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas will
show that globalization is a modern form of colonization, and might more
accurately be called "Americanization."
Gods Principal Rival
U.S., and looking at how money directs its role as the "world superpower,"
Peter Selby argues that the international debt crisis is not something
that has gone wrong with the system its intrinsic to the
Debt Have They Understood?
activists had great hopes for the cancellation of international debts
at the G8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan. Peter Selby examines why the political
leaders let them down.
Convention MM the Middle Has Moved
Katie Sherrod says
that conservatives in the Episcopal Church are fuming because the "middle"
has moved, and it has moved to the left.
in a Pluralism of Faiths: The Gift of Interfaith Solidarity
In an increasingly
pluralistic world, our churches still often call us to one truth
our own truth. Are Christianity and "globalization" both negative
forms of Western world mission? World Council of Churches staff member
Hans Ucko explores the complex state of interfaith relations.