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Property for People, Not for Profit


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Table of Contents

  • 1. Absolute Property Creates Poverty, Debts and Slavery: The origin of the property economy in antiquity and biblical alternatives
  • 2. Homo Homini Lupus: The emergence of the capitalist possessive market society in the modern age
  • 3. The Case of John Locke: The inversion of human rights in the name of bourgeois property
  • 4. The Total Market: How globalised capitalism is eliminating the commitment to sustain life
  • 5. The Fall of the Towers: The absolute empire - the implementation of the total market
  • 6. It is Life-enhancing Production that Must Grow, Not Capitalist Property - Latin American approaches to a renewed dependency theory
  • 7. Another World Is Possible: Rebuilding the system of ownership from below from the perspective of Life and the Common Good
  • 8. God or Mammon? A confessional issue for the churches in the context of social movements

About the Author

Ulrich Duchrow is professor of systematic theology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is the co-founder of Kairos Europa, an ecumenical grassroots network striving for economic justice. Franz J. Hinkelammert is a German economist who has spent much of his working life in Latin America, at the Catholic University of Santiago de Chile, and since 1976 in Costa Rica.


'This is a strong message, one that makes connections in politics, economics, philosophy and scripture. It is encouragement for those who have been told that 'there is no alternative', and urges upon us the claims of economic and political discipleship. It will bring excitement, challenge and controversy to any group.' - The Rt Revd Dr Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester and Bishop to HM Prison' 'Faith-based groups are enormously important in the global justice movement and they are on the move, as this penetrating and crucial text demonstrates. It is incumbent on us all to incorporate this dimension in our own analyses so that we can move forward in unity, secularists and faith-oriented together, in the common quest for justice. This book is a great step forward on that road.' - Susan George, author and campaigner 'This learned book makes an important contribution to the growing Christian literature denouncing today's neo-liberal capitalism as an economic engine of destruction. The authors demonstrate that the globalization of the unregulated market, driven by the accumulation of property and protected by military empire, leads to the impoverishment of ever wider sectors of humanity and the devastation of the natural environment, promoting a civilization of death. By contrast, the authors show that according to the biblical tradition and the teaching of Jesus, property is intended to foster life and serve the common good. The present march towards death can only be stopped by a conversion to the biblical message, recognizing the conditional character of property, democratizing the ownership of productive goods, and creating economic development that serves human well-being and protects the earth. Relying on God's Word, the Church must condemn the march toward death and propose community-based economic development that serves life.' - Gregory Baum, Professor Emeritus, McGill-Queens University, theologian 'This book is an interesting and significant contribution to the growing discussion on the adverse effects of the implementation of unbridled global market activities. It also has good ideas on what can be done to rectify the situation. I hope many people will read it and draw lessons from it.' - Martin Khor, Director, Third World Network 'I highly recommend Property for People, Not for Profit. Capitalism today is too often thought of as "natural" or "God-given" when a careful examination of the history of its development and the evolution of religious thought shows that there are other ways to think about how our economy and society should be organized. The most valuable contribution of this book, however, is to show how another world is possible. Duchrow and Hinkelammert also challenge the churches to renounce the worship of Mammon and serve the God of life by supporting social movements working for alternatives.' - Dennis Howlett, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

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