A Theological Guide
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While a number of secular philosophers have written on global poverty, theologians have either steered clear entirely or simply mimicked the political analysis currently on offer. As such, there are a number of Christian authors who have argued either for a free market solution to global poverty or for a radical reform of global capitalism as the best approach, but the theological underpinnings of such conclusions are noticeable by their absence.
Global Poverty offers a new way forward. Justin Thacker offers deeply theological answers to questions around the effect of capitalism on global poverty and whether aid is really a sustainable long term solution for the world's poor.
The book will challenge theologians, church leaders and congregations to consider much more seriously the huge implications of faith and theology on our attitude to the 1.2 billion people in the world who live in extreme poverty.
Part 1: Creation
1. The image of God and the dignity of humanity
2. The problem of paternalism
3. The nature of poverty
Part 2: Fall
4. The nature, depth and breadth of sin
5. Sin, taxes and debt - who owes whom?
6. Structural sin - are we really guilty?
Part 3: Israel
7. Israel's mission
Part 4: Redemption
12. The gospel and salvation
13. Secular theories of development
14. Theologies of development
Part 5: Consummation
15. New heavens and new earth
16. The poor always with you
17. The problem of aid utopianism
18. So why should we bother?
19. Conclusion: the question of equality
'If you ever thought that theologians should stay in their ivory towers, safely out of harm’s way, and that those who want to change our world for the good should be left to get on with the job at hand…. think again! Justin Thacker combines a deep theological understanding with a strong knowledge of economic theories of poverty relief, and a clear compassion for our struggling planet and its people, to provide a brilliant theological analysis that will inform and challenge all of us who long to bring about a better world. This is a superb book and I encourage you to read it.' -- Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director, Tearfund
'At last - a thorough, graceful, nuanced and compelling theological engagement with capitalism and development. While Christians all over the world have intuitively been responding to poverty in many of the ways Thacker suggests, now we will be able to do so with renewed focus and strength, armed with this robust primer on why it is a theological imperative that we do so with urgency.' -- Eve Poole, Author, 'Capitalism's Toxic Assumptions'
'Dr Justin Thacker has produced a resolutely theological, rather than pragmatic, analysis of global poverty. Justin's writing is steeped in theological and biblical study, but he is also at home in the currents of contemporary political and economic discussion, and the interaction between these things means the book is also full of practical insights as to what we can - and should - do.' -- Sean Doherty, St Mellitus College, London
'The issue of global poverty is not something we can ignore and it will go away. This book makes uncomfortable reading but I highly recommend it - it puts overseas aid into its proper context and invites us to respond in ways that could make a real difference.' -- Marion Gray, The Reader, Vol 117, No.1