Original Research - Special Collection: Boston Papers

‘Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table’: Matthew’s Gospel and economic globalisation

Lidija Novakovic
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 65, No 1 | a321 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v65i1.321 | © 2009 Lidija Novakovic | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 July 2009 | Published: 11 November 2009

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Lidija Novakovic, Baylor University, United States

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Abstract

One of the effects of economic globalisation is that it strengthens the superiority of the developed and intensifies the dependency of the undeveloped nations. Christian ethicists typically address this problem by emphasising the need for social justice and the ethics of love expressed through sharing and generosity. This article offers another contribution to this discussion – an analysis of the subversive understanding of power and identity that underlies the story of Jesus in Matthew’s narrative. It concludes that Matthew’s Gospel offers a message of encouragement and accountability. It encourages the underprivileged to work for a change of conventional hierarchies that favour the privileged and calls them to actively participate in the creation of just relationships. At the same time, it reminds those who manage to improve their conditions that they should be transformed by the grace shown to them and strive for righteousness that exceeds the ethical standards of their former superiors.

Keywords

economic globalisation; justice; ethics; Matthew’s Gospel; distribution of power

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