Wealth and the Will of God

Wealth and the Will of God

Discerning the Use of Riches in the Service of Ultimate Purpose
Paul G. Schervish and Albert Keith Whitaker
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/22/2010
Format: Paperback 2 line art, 1 figure
ISBN: 978-0-253-22148-3
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Wealth and the Will of God looks at some of the spiritual resources of the Christian tradition that can aid serious reflection on wealth and giving. Beginning with Aristotle—who is crucial for understanding later Christian thought—the book discusses Aquinas, Ignatius, Luther, Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards. Though the ideas vary greatly, the chapters are organized to facilitate comparisons among these thinkers on issues of ultimate purposes or aspirations of human life; on the penultimate purposes of love, charity, friendship, and care; on the resources available to human beings in this life; and finally on ways to connect and implement in practice our identified resources with our ultimate ends.

Author Bio

Paul G. Schervish is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College. He is author of Gospels of Wealth: How the Rich Portray Their Lives.

Keith Whitaker is a research fellow at Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy and Managing Director, Family Dynamics, at Wells Fargo Family Wealth. His work has appeared in Philanthropy Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.


“Looks at some of the spiritual resources of the Christian tradition that can aid serious reflection on wealth and giving.”

“Ideas of major importance to the practice of philanthropy. The volume brings a philosophical and theological perspective to questions about motives for and practices of giving that is little evident in the extant contemporary literature on philanthropy.”
 — Thomas H. Jeavons, ARNOVA

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Moral Biography
1. Aristotle: "Being-in-Action" and Discernment
2. Aquinas: "Distinguish Ends and Means"
3. Ignatius: All Things Ordered to Service of God
4. Luther: Receiving and Sharing God's Gift
5. Calvin: Giving Gratitude to God
6. Jonathan Edwards: Awakenings to Benevolence
Conclusion: Classical Wisdom and Contemporary Decisions: The Contribution of Western Christianity to Discernment about Wealth

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