Friday, January 23, 2009

Of Wealth and Philanthropy - The golden legacy of St John Chrysostom

Nicoleta Acatrinei is an unusual scholar: she is at the same time a professional economist, a graduate in theology and a working mother. Her blend of religious faith, natural curiosity and interest for economic anthropology put her on the byzantine track of St John Chrysostom one of the fathers of the Greek Orthodox church. When we first met in 2005, Nicoleta alerted me on the role of this pivotal 4th Century Antiochian figure whose preachings on wealth and altruism are probably as important to market ethics as are the legacies of Aristotle or of St Thomas Aquinas.

Nicoleta's fascinating
economics cum theology anthropological quest has now materialized into a book: "Saint Jean Chrysostome et l'Homo oeconomicus" (ISBN 978-1-933275-20-8) recently published by the Orthodox Research Institute.

The current financial crisis puts entrepreneurial ethics in the line of fire. An immersion into its fundamentals is not a luxury for those who battle for free markets. Nicoleta's revisit of Chrysotom's golden wisdom could not have come at a better time.

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