Harvey Cox

discusses

The Market as God

This event includes a book signing

Date

Sep
23
Friday
September 23, 2016
3:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard University HARVEY COX for a discussion of his book The Market as God.

About The Market as God

The Market has deified itself, according to Harvey Cox’s brilliant exegesis. And all of the world’s problems—widening inequality, a rapidly warming planet, the injustices of global poverty—are consequently harder to solve. Only by tracing how the Market reached its “divine” status can we hope to restore it to its proper place as servant of humanity.

The Market as God captures how our world has fallen in thrall to the business theology of supply and demand. According to its acolytes, the Market is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It knows the value of everything, and determines the outcome of every transaction; it can raise nations and ruin households, and nothing escapes its reductionist commodification. The Market comes complete with its own doctrines, prophets, and evangelical zeal to convert the world to its way of life. Cox brings that theology out of the shadows, demonstrating that the way the world economy operates is neither natural nor inevitable but shaped by a global system of values and symbols that can be best understood as a religion.

Drawing on biblical sources, economists and financial experts, prehistoric religions, Greek mythology, historical patterns, and the work of natural and social scientists, Cox points to many parallels between the development of Christianity and the Market economy. At various times in history, both have garnered enormous wealth and displayed pompous behavior. Both have experienced the corruption of power. However, what the religious have learned over the millennia, sometimes at great cost, still eludes the Market faithful: humility.

Praise

"Through an astonishingly productive lifetime, Harvey Cox has always been alive to the most important movements of the spirit in our culture. His observations on the deification of the market and his ingenious sense of how market theology has developed a scripture, a liturgy, and sophisticated apologetics allow us to see old challenges in a remarkably fresh light. Like so many of the market’s critics, he’s also trying to redeem it so that it might serve its proper ends. An essential and thoroughly engaging book". —E. J. Dionne, Jr., author of Why the Right Went Wrong

Harvey Cox
Harvey Cox

Harvey Cox

Harvey Cox is Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, where he has been teaching since 1965. An American Baptist minister, he was the Protestant chaplain at Temple University and the director of religious activities at Oberlin College; an ecumenical fraternal worker in Berlin; and a professor at Andover Newton Theological School. His research and teaching interests focus on the interaction of religion, culture, and politics. His books include When Jesus Came to Harvard and The Future of Faith.

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Event Series: Friday Forum

Harvard Book Store's Friday Forum series takes place on Friday afternoons during the academic year as a way to highlight scholarly books in a wide range of fields, with a particular focus on local scholars.

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