The Rise of Religion and the Future of Capitalism
AbstractThe rise of religion and the rise of capitalism are currently occurring in roughly the same geographical regions (Latin America, Asia, and Africa). Although both religion and capitalism are often ignored, or are regarded negatively, within development circles, this article reflects on their potential for human wellbeing when they convergence. Its focus is on the socio-economic significance of what the author calls the Evangelical Pentecostal Charismatic Movement (EPCM), which accounts for most of the growth of Christianity, the world’s largest religion. He argues that the movement’s stimulation of selfempowerment (especially of women), church-based social outreach, and the encouragement of trust are of particular significance. They provide ample grounds, he contends, for revisiting the question Max Weber is famous for having posed about the link between religious belief and economic behaviour. They also help overcome victimhood mentalities and promote good stewardship, accountability and integrity. The EPCM thereby acts as a progressive force that, in serving the common good, stands to make a positive contribution to the future of capitalism.
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