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Friends of the Unrighteous MammonNorthern Christians and Market Capitalism, 1815-1860$
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Stewart Davenport

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226137063

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226137087.001.0001

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Some Comparisons and Preliminary Conclusions

Some Comparisons and Preliminary Conclusions

(p.155) Chapter Eleven Some Comparisons and Preliminary Conclusions
Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon
University of Chicago Press

Throughout its history, the Christian religion has been the starting point for remarkably diverse—even contradictory—political, social, and economic ideologies. Conservatives, for example, can often find within Christianity the intellectual and theological resources they are looking for to make sense of, or even legitimize, the world in which they live or the one they are desperately trying to maintain. But it is equally true that Christianity has within it the intellectual and theological resources to effectively critique any given social, political, or economic order. While Orestes Brownson and Stephen Colwell were primarily concerned about individuals— especially working-class individuals—and to what extent the modernizing economy was harming them, the clerical economists were more interested in the national or international picture and how individuals were supposed to fit into it. They did care about individuals and individual morality, but they were more concerned with building and maintaining the nation's economic order, prosperity, and strength. National order and prosperity were some of the clerical economists' main reasons for teaching political economy and encouraging economic modernization in the first place.

Keywords:   clerical economists, Orestes Brownson, Stephen Colwell, individuals, morality, economic order, political economy, economic modernization, Christianity

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