Books For Imagining A New Economy

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An economy is built on personal interactions. A neighbor stepping into a shop, say, or a gardener buying seeds in spring and giving away produce in fall, form the building blocks of even the most complex economies. But complex economies obscure those connections, and they often obscure the ability of neighbors to imagine themselves in different, more human economies built around people rather than money.

The work of describing a new economy is a feat of imagination. The gift of words to describe interactions and systems as complex as a city block or a rural farm takes immensely detailed imagination. It invites readers to return to a human scale of connection with soil and soul.

The works listed here have encouraged our team to reimagine a new economy, especially one built on human connections and care for neighbors of every sort. We’ve included some selective annotations.

Walk Out, Walk On: A Learning Journey Into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now  – Deborah Frieze and Margaret Wheatley.

Sex, Economy, Freedom, Community by Wendell Berry

It All Turns on Affection. Wendell Berry’s Jefferson Lecture is a remarkable reflection on human economy and belonging in place.

Sabbath as Resistance. Walter Brueggemann’s clarion call for Sabbath practice as resistance to the economy of totalism.

Solidarity Ethics. Rebecca Todd Peters builds an ethic around solidarity with the world’s poor and marginalized.

Sabbath Economics. Ched Myers and Elaine Enns construct a vision for economy built on abundance. A variety of resources available by following the link.

An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture. Common Good Collective gurus Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, and John McKnight lay out a vision for leaving Pharaoh’s economy for the wilderness of the neighborhood.

Bonus podcast: “Faith and Capital” seeks to understand the capitalist economy as it is, and to help to create a clearer vision of what it could be.

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