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Economie si Religie. O perspectiva personalista


  • Petre Comsa

    () (Valahia University, Târgoviste, Romania)

  • Costea Munteanu

    () (Bucharest University of Economics, Romania)


The project of classical science (from Enlightment to the beginning of the 20th century) was to explain all the reality we live in (embedded in space, time, matter and energy) by the reality itself, leaving no space for God. On the contrary, a “new orientation” within the contemporary epistemology advocates the limits of scientific inquiry: we can never grasp the complete nature of Man and of the Universe by scientific methods only. This gives a fatal blow to the project of classical science and opens a door for the religious approaches within some of the present-day scientific disciplines, as they recognize both the rationality and the mystery of the World. As far as the economic science is concerned, it has to be mentioned that, traditionally, the reaction of many mainstream economists to the effort to integrate theology and economics demonstrated the difficulty of doing so in a way that could be broadly recognized as legitimate. This state of things is simply an indication of a broad consensus within the field of economics that methods, norms, and even concerns construed to be related to religious belief have no place in the scientific study of economics. Recently, the situation seems to be changing, however. A decade ago, a group of Christian Catholic social thinkers engaged in dialogue with free-market economists concerning the morality of market activity. As a result, this interdisciplinary exchange inspired the conception of a new sub-discipline that sought to synthesize central aspects of theology and economics, thereby giving rise to a new body of scholarship termed economic personalism. In its Catholic-inspired version, economic personalism is a science of the morality of markets. The general idea is to promote a humane economic order that benefits from market activity but does not reduce the human person to just another element in economic phenomena. This paper suggests that, under such circumstances, the Christian-Orthodox contribution to further development of this new field of investigation could consist in bringing forward the teaching of the Holy Fathers of Eastern tradition. It is argued that, in this way, the moral dimension which dominantly defines the Catholic vision of human person could be surpassed and even transfigured by the spiritual dimension which fully informs the Orthodox vision. Moreover, this preeminence of the spiritual determinants of the human person is expected to result in a number of significant changes concerning both the epistemological status of the dialogue between economics and theology and the way economic personalism is currently conceived (in terms of its subject matter, basic conceptual principles, and general mission).

Suggested Citation

  • Petre Comsa & Costea Munteanu, 2008. "Economie si Religie. O perspectiva personalista," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 11(30), pages 131-182, (4).
  • Handle: RePEc:rej:journl:v:11:y:2008:i:30:p:131-182

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