Saturday, May 14, 2005

Non-Secular Economics?

Friday Morning Reflections at the World Bank is a collection of four essays written by World Bank employees and published in 1991. The book is based on a weekly group meeting where employees at the World Bank met together to discuss the moral and ethical roots of their work. While the essays do not offer any surprisingly new insights into the idea behind combining religion and development, it is still work a read.

The essays have been written by people with very different religious and ethical backgrounds. They show how important religion is, even in secular institutions. While the book is a bit out-dated, it's only 80 pages long - an easy read on a rainy day.

To say that religion and ethical has no presence in economics or politics is naive. Politics is guided by the morals and ideologies of those in power and voters (one would hope). Thus, it is inherently religious, and the sooner we realize this, the better. I am not advocating the acceptance of a specific religious doctrine, but a cultivation of study of the connections between religion and politics would be nice.

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