SUBTITLE: The hermeneutical case of Calvin today
SUMMARY: Notwithstanding the great historical differences between the 16th and 21st century the theology of Calvin turns out to be of surprising relevance today. The context of Calvin’s theology is compared to the present one, thus finding the common denominator of both worlds needed for demonstrating Calvin’s relevance today. Theology and economics sets out a hermeneutical approach to Calvin’s faith based method of interpretation of economic reality. Calvin hails private property and fair contracts, but in themselves they do not constitute a well-composed economy – as they do not necessarily include the poor.
Lastly the author outlines some theological implications for the 21st century. Economic trade according to Calvin is intercommunication among people, not only Christian people. Theology and economics concludes with suggestions made for new ways of theological reflection on the basis of Calvin’s consequent social humanism grounded in the confession of Christ’s sovereignty over the world.
The trivial conception of Calvin’s “guilt” of capitalism
The hermeneutical problem of reading Calvin five centuries later
Calvin on Christian faith and human society
Calvin on economics
Science and technology
Interest: the case for economic hermeneutics
Calvinism, Neo-Calvinism and the end of the first modernity
The technical society and the second modernity
Theology and economics
Economic theory is self-satisfied too
Daily life experience and the (assumedly autonomous) theory
An economist also believes
The human heart
Reality excluded by reason
Positive versus normative economics
Intensifying economic method
Respect of the research object
Calvinian perspective in the 21st century
Some further theological conclusions
Dr. Roelf Haan is a native of The Netherlands and has his Ph.D. in economic sciences. He has worked for the Ministry of Finance in The Hague and he was also the technical assistant to the Dutch member of the Executive Board of the IMF in Washington D.C. After this, he became a Professor of Economics at the Free University in Amsterdam. Haan has written extensively on the issue of economics and many of his books have been translated into other languages. Well-known is his book The Economics of Honor: Biblical Reflections on Money and Property. Currently, Haan is Chairman of the Board of Solidaridad (Dutch ecumenical development organization for fair trade and a sustainable society), and Chairman of the Board of the Dom Hélder Câmara Chair, Free University, Amsterdam.