Theology and Practice of America’s ‘New Evangelicals’

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Marcia Pally


In an effort to contribute however modestly to an answer, I shall describe the theology and practice of America’s “new evangelicalsâ€--Christians who distinguish themselves from the religious right and who are developing an interesting mix of market and an ethics of life—for short, an economics of life. (In this chapter, I shall take the naïve position that “life†includes the common good and means something like the flourishing of all with dignity and care.) On one hand, “new evangelicals†rely on the 17th and 18th century individualist principles that fostered market development. Yet on the other, they spend much of their time working through the community of church for the community of humankind. That is, they uphold unencumbered, individualist entrepreneurialism in markets. But this commitment makes them entrepreneurs for resource-distribution and opportunity-restructuring for the flourishing of all. Given the number of Christian groups involved, this effort has significant effect on the circulation of money, resources, and people throughout the world.

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