The Order of Value : Christian Theology and the Market Economy

Sammanfattning: This study explores the relationship between Christian theology and the market economy, with a particular focus on value theory. Its backdrop is the scholarly recognition of the historical intertwinement of Christian theology and secular society. I first theologically analyze the historical development of the subjective value theory that is central to the market economy. I begin with its origin in scholastic just price in medieval Europe and follow it through its secularization via the so-called "marginal revolution" that helped consolidate the discipline of economics. The analysis shows that the subjective value theory concerns cosmology.I then analyze the expression of value as a theological-economic problem in contemporary theological texts. The method is a form of immanent critique, employed in a reading of four theological texts that criticize the market economy. I identify assumptions that are isomorphic to the subjective value theory, and discuss theological consequences of the isomorphisms between theology and the market economy. I conclude that "value" is a problematic concept in those texts.Lastly, I analyze the concept of value. I show that the distinction between the metric meaning of "value" (a numerical quantity) and the normative meaning of "values" ("Christian values") is conceptually problematic. But those meanings are connected through what I call "the order of value": measuring value becomes a means of ordering the world. I show how this order of value plays out in relation to the Christian dogmatic structure and the market economy and discuss resulting problems. I argue that the theological study of value theory makes a theological critique of value possible.Unravelling the theological significance of value theory is the main contribution of the present study, both to the interdisciplinary fields of political and economic theology, and to theology proper.