The spiritual roots of economic production

By Glen Argan
Special to the Prairie Messenger


EDMONTON — Economists and proponents of Catholic social teaching need to overcome “a forgetfulness about the truth of the centrality of the person in the economic drama,” said a visiting scholar from Ireland.

Rev. John McNerney spoke at Newman Theological College Jan. 25 about what he called “the ultimate spiritual nature of the commercial process.”

“The human person acting as an entrepreneur is not merely froth and bubble in the stream of history,” McNerney said. Rather, the entrepreneur can overcome old economic traditions and create new ones.

The root of economics can be found in the nature of the human person — homo spiritualis, or spiritual man, he said. The root of economic production is not only practical, but also intellectual and spiritual.

McNerney is the head chaplain at University College Dublin, author of The Wealth of Persons: Economics with a Human Face and currently a visiting scholar at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

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