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Forgive us our Debts

Forgive us our Debts

The project seeks to examine debt in the UK at the personal, corporate, and government levels. (Upcoming)

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Forgive us our Debts is a partnership project between Theos and the St Paul’s Institute. The project seeks to examine debt in the UK at the personal, corporate, and government levels and engage the main areas of concern within a theologically–informed moral framework. Drawing on the wisdom of the Christian tradition, we seek to impress on the public imagination the notion that debt is never merely a number or a contract. It concerns relationships – with one another, with past and future generations, and with the physical environment. Debt also has to do with the ability, or lack thereof, of all to participate in a common life of meaning and action. It therefore has important moral dimensions and relational consequences, both of which are rarely fully taken into account in public conversation.

Our aim is to stimulate a debate on current debt in the UK that takes into consideration debt’s moral dimensions and relational consequences; we also seek to help effect change where debt, rather than being orientated towards the common good, prevents people and communities from flourishing.

We seek to encourage a public conversation on questions such as:

1. What is a just loan?

2. What is a fair rate of interest? 

3. How should risk associated with debt be distributed?

4. How can we make debt relations in the UK more humane, fair, and orientated towards the common good?

The research is currently being distilled in a report co–written by Dr Nathan Mladin and Barbara Ridpath. The report will be launched on 30th January 2019 at St Paul’s Cathedral (6:30–9pm). Event details and tickets will soon be made available – watch this space!

In the meantime, if you are interested in this topic, please join us for an event organised in partnership with the LSE Anthropology Department and St Paul’s Institute entitled ‘ Debt in the UK: Faith–Based and Secular Responses’, on Monday 10th December 2018 (6:30–8pm) at the London School of Economics. Details and tickets here. 

 Image by zimmytws available under a shutterstock licence.

Nathan Mladin

Nathan Mladin

Natan joined Theos in 2016. He has just completed a PhD in Systematic Theology at Queen’s University of Belfast with a thesis on divine action in dialogue with theatre studies. He is the author of the chapter on Václav Havel in The Mighty and the Almighty: How Political Leaders do God (Biteback, 2017) and co–author of That They All May Be One, a report looking at inter–Church relations in England. Current research interests include theology and economics, with a focus on debt, ethics of AI/robotics, theology and contemporary art.

Britain, Economy, Ethics, Government

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