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The True Wealth of NationsCatholic Social Thought and Economic Life$
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Daniel Finn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739813.001.0001

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Capital, Spirit, and Common Wealth

Capital, Spirit, and Common Wealth

Chapter:
(p.289) 11 Capital, Spirit, and Common Wealth
Source:
The True Wealth of Nations
Author(s):

Jon P. Gunnemann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739813.003.0012

This chapter contributes to an understanding of “true wealth” by offering a theological (Protestant) interpretation of capital and economic institutions. It offers an argument in three parts: part 1 argues that what economists call “capital” is an abstraction that refers to various complex forms of energy—natural, social, and cultural—organized for specific purposes or ends; and that these same forms of organized energy are referred to by theologians and Christian believers as spirit. Part 2 examines the modern business corporation, the primary institutional form of capital in the modern economy. Part 3 integrates the various parts of the argument with an analysis of financial capital and its tenuous, if not destructive, relationship to spirit, stewardship, and the holiness of life.

Keywords:   true wealth, spirit, capital, organized energy, corporation, common wealth

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