De-Coding Mammon : Money in Need of Redemption
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis is an attempt to understand the suspicion of money implied in Jesus' statement that it is impossible to serve both God and Mammon. I argue on the basis of Scripture, reason and tradition that problems associated with money do not arise simply from the way it is used, but from the nature of money itself. This is argued in three sections. First I consider the history of money and in particular of the commodity theory of money. Second I consider the issues of debt and interest, of central concern in the Christian Scriptures. Finally I consider money through four different lenses: justice, value, desire and power. The argument as a whole leads up to the last of these. As was already suggested by Jacques Ellul fifty years ago, I argue that money must be understood as a cosmic power to which we are all subject and which is in need of redemption. In the second and third sections I make suggestions as to what the redemption of money might look like. I summarise the argument in a final section, 'De-coding Mammon'.
PhD in Theology