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Caritas in veritate and Chiara Lubich: Human Development from the vantage point of Unity

by Amelia J.Uelmen

Caritas in veritate and Chiara Lubich: Human Development from the vantage point of Unity
published on Theological Studies, volume 71, pages 29-45 (03-2010)

Amy_UelmenWithin the vibrant life of the Catholic Church today, many currents of spirituality and specific projects can shed light on the encyclical’s themes and provide examples of what its principles might look like in practice. This note focuses on how Chiara Lubich’s spirituality of unity might offer a helpful way for people to understand how to live these principles in their everyday lives. It also discusses how the “Economy of Communion” and other concrete projects and practices of Focolare, the movement Lubich founded, foster economic justice and human development.

At a certain point in his marvelous and still timely essay on love,Josef Pieper struggled with whether the idea of universal love might make any practical difference in the world.
He wrote: On the one hand, universal human love cannot accomplish anything practical in the world; man’s historical predicaments cannot be solved by love. But on the other hand . . . universal love is not simply an unrealistic fantasy.

Caritas in veritate and Chiara Lubich: Human Development from the vantage point of Unity

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Religious Values and Corporate Decision Making: The Economy of Communion

Luigino Bruni & Amelia J.Uelmen

Religious Values and Corporate Decision Making: The Economy of Communion Project
published on Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law, volume 11, pages 645-680 (2006)

Introduction

Recently some of the legal, economic and management literature has begun to explore the numerous complex questions and concerns that arise with the prospect of integrating religious perspectives, values and frameworks into business life. From the economic and legal perspectives, does integration of religious perspectives threaten the integrity of current business structure? From a religious perspective, might integration of religious beliefs and communities lead to theis being manipulated for commercial purposes, thus threatening their autenticity and integrity?

Religious Values and Corporate Decision Making: The Economy of Communion Project

 

The ‘Economy of Communion’: Inspirations and Achievements

Luigino Bruni, Stefano Zamagni

The ‘Economy of Communion’: Inspirations and Achievements
published on Finance & Common Good - n.20 - Autumn 2004

Economics, nowadays, is facing a remarkable challenge: the processes of globalisation can offer new opportunities to many who are still excluded from material well-being but, at the same time, there is the real risk of transforming the world into a large supermarket in which the only form of human relationship is the economic one, where everything becomes a commodity.
Our market economy has two possible ways forward: to build a ‘global village’ where, as in every village, principles are at work (redistribution, gift and exchange), or, instead, to transform the world into a ‘global supermarket’ where there is no room for genuine and non-instrumental relationships.

In this context, the main challenge of the Economy of Communion - both at a theoretical and a practical level - is to show that it is possible to find a place for love within the economic domain. In fact, the key to understanding the Economy of Communion project is precisely the category of love, understood as a feeling of brotherhood and good will toward other people, as a deep concern for the other as a person, and not as a sentimental or psychological feeling.
In this sense, love is more than pure empathy or fellow-feeling, terms that have been more often used by economists than love - including Adam Smith - to capture the sense of one person’s opening up to others.

We will begin with a brief mention of the relationship between economics and love, in order to move on to the description of the Economy of Communion project.
In conclusion, we will describe some of the implications that result from taking the concept of love seriously in economic matters and, consequently, we hope to show the radical criticism that the Economy of Communion experience represents in relation to the usual way of understanding economics.

The ‘Economy of Communion’: Inspirations and Achievements

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