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|Title:||Is God an Economist? An Institutional Economic Reconstruction of the Old Testament|
|Citation:||Wagner Tsukamoto, SA, Is God an Economist? An Institutional Economic Reconstruction of the Old Testament, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009|
|Abstract:||The book advances the thesis that stories of the Bible fulfil a rational, institutional and constitutional economic function when it comes to questions of the societal contract, nation building and international cooperation. The search is on for a radical, economic humanism in the Old Testament. This gives the Old Testament a highly relevant and contemporary role for organizing life in modern society in a rational, scientific manner. The book argues that the Old Testament in considerable degrees anticipated advances in modern constitutional and institutional economics. The present book focuses on stories such as the paradise story, the stories involving Jacob, the Joseph stories and the stories surrounding the exodus; arguing that these stories reveal a conceptual structure that mirrors and anticipates, in considerable degrees, a modern institutional and constitutional economic approach and ideas such as governance structures (incentive structures, property rights arrangements, the constitutional contract), capital exchange, mutual gains, the model of economic man (even opportunism and predation behaviour) and the idea of an economic dilemma structure (the prisoner’s dilemma, the commons dilemma). Key theses developed by the book are a climax thesis for the Joseph story of Genesis and a hero thesis for Joseph as well as a decline thesis for the stories that follow Genesis, and here in particular a non-hero thesis for Moses. These theses are justified in an enlightened, moral philosophical manner, specifically on the basis of a radical, economic humanism that can be attributed to the Joseph story of Genesis. The resulting economic reconstruction of the Old Testament rivals theological, philosophical, sociological or psychological interpretations, amongst others. The book demonstrates that the Old Testament reveals a deeply economic ethos, even a radical, economic humanism. This fresh, new look at the Old Testament will lead to a good deal of constructive discussion with other disciplines. “Is God an Economist? gains a very special profile in the international debate on economics, theology and ethics. … Wagner-Tsukamoto’s economic interpretation of the Old Testament is here a special treat since it clearly shows that the old dualism of economics and theology/philosophy, on which most ethics approaches are built, is historically and systematically not justified. This reveals some very significant progress in interdisciplinary debate.” Karl Homann, Chair Philosophy and Economics, University of Munich.|
|Appears in Collections:||Books & Book Chapters, School of Management|
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