Support the Café

Search our Site

The Economist finds that Justin Welby actually knows something about banks

The Economist finds that Justin Welby actually knows something about banks

The Economist, to its own surprise, finds Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, to be a credible participant in the debate over the worldwide banking crisis:

The striking thing about the archbishop’s tone is that it avoids several extremes. In contrast with some religious discourse, he does not see the financial sector as self-evidently or incorrigibly nefarious. He does not view the efficient allocation of capital, and the broking of deals between risk-takers and risk-avoiders, as an immoral business. In his BBC interview, with a colleague from the Financial Times, he stressed that the City of London was an impressive pool of talent and that in some respects (insider trading, employment practices) its ethical standards had improved. Nor is he preaching a “prosperity Gospel” in which wealth-creation and spiritual salvation are seen as nearly identical: that is a minority taste in British Christianity but is growing steadily.

Nor again (in contrast to some modern champions of faith) was he signalling that clever public policy pronouncements would be his main concern, because these days nobody much, not even among the faith professionals, was interested in God. In his radio interview, the archbishop gently stressed several times that his personal priority was preaching Christianity, not fine-tuning the financial sector. He had left his wordly career (which included managing the finances of an oil exploration company) because of a “clear sense I had of God calling me to get ordained, one that I obeyed kicking and screaming.”

On other lips, those words might sound self-righteous or cloying, but Archbishop Welby at least sounded as though he meant them. My hunch is that secular listeners will acknowledge that honesty, even if they cannot make much sense of divine vocations. And they will at least hear him out patiently when he speaks out on secular topics on which he has some expertise.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café