Hamilton, Brian David
Taylor & Francis
The truly surprising about the Christian understanding of poverty, the thing that sets it apart even from other religious perspectives and certainly from modern economics, is that poverty is seen as somehow good. The whole history of Christian reflection on poverty has been animated by the attempt to make sense of the apparently incompatible affirmations. The division of society into rich and poor, strong and weak, comes not from Rome but from the ancient Near East. Christian preachers began to present the poor as privileged citizens in the kingdom of heaven, thus inventing a social class and integrating them into the main social body in one fell swoop. The most decisive theological influence on early modern political economy came from the British natural theologians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, who celebrated the proliferation of discoveries in the natural sciences as testimony to the power and glory of the Creator.
Poverty -- Biblical teaching, Poor -- Biblical teaching, Church work with the poor, Economics -- History
Hamilton, B. D. (2020). Poverty. In The Routledge Handbook of Economic Theology (pp. 134–143).