Essay: Social Justice and the Gospel

Pages: 4 (1427 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Anthropology  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Over the last three to four decades, the global landscape has changed to embrace a process called globalism. Globalism is a key change in that economic, political and cultural movements throughout the world move closer together as a result of economic cooperation and communication. Globalization has shrunk many aspects of the world that prevented social justice in the past. The Internet is available almost everywhere, the news media accesses even the darkest regions or states, and it has transformed the way culture, society, and the economy work in the modern era. The world is richer than ever, communicates more, trades more, and cooperates more than ever. To date, the most robust paradigm of globalization has been the way many countries are integrating themselves with each other, primarily in trade and investment and in the international flows of capital, people, technology and information.

This trend towards globalization also has a firm impact on social justice. First, global stakeholders now have increased expectations for equality, human rights, and dignity. Second, global communications now makes it easier to reach out, to inform, educate, and to monitor, human rights and other social justice actions. Third, globalization improves the chances of spreading the Gospels to all countries of the world through ministry and through technology. In effect, the humanitarian Jesus may be seen as the paradigm of social justice, and the works of the Gospels the means to promulgate those ideas (Dobson and Buckley, eds., 2010).

Economics and Social Justice- Many of the world's religious leaders see the issues of social justice and economic development inexorably tied together. In fact, Cardinal Rodriquez in Honduras ties social justice with an overall campaign to cancel third-world debt and increased equality through social justice as opposed to capitalism (Jenkins, p. 178). However, this begs the question, what happens if the developed world has an economic crisis -- what programs and what policies would change about foreign aid, development funding, microloans, and even charitable giving?

Thankfully, the idea of globalism moves in a direction of commonality. If one has economic ties to others, one is unlikely to make war. Disparity between the haves and have-nots increases tension, but the globalization of the economy allows for an approach that will increase wealth to the developing world as well. The key to this process is finding a way to ensure that sustainability issues are addressed through a global consciousness of social justice. We are not just looking at the idea of social justice from a sociological or religious viewpoint; it must be pervasive and move into a multi-disciplinary standpoint of politics, foreign policy, economics, and technology. Each person has basic needs, and if those needs are met to a higher degree (food, water, shelter, and actualization), then the social justice quotient has improved, the standard of living for all has improved, and the greater the cooperation between nations becomes part of stakeholder expectations. Certainly, the developed world must continue to "commit to social and political activism at home, to ensuring economic justice and combating racing, and to promoting cultural diversity" abroad (Jenkins, p. 18).

Like globalism, social justice must be a network of solutions. As King noted, "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law of the law of God" (King). Some find globalization to be the "domination" of the developed world (Gindin, 2002). However, instead of looking it as a means to prevent social justice, perhaps if social justice becomes international in scope, it will develop the moral side of the economic equation regarding the words of the Gospel.

REFERENCES

Barry, B. (2005). Why Social Justice Matters. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Dobson, R. And Buckley, C., eds. (2010). Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Gindin, S. (June 2002). Social Justice and Globalization: Are they Compatible. Monthly Review. 54 (2): Retrieved from: http://monthlyreview.org/2002/06/01/social-justice-and-globalization-are-they-compatible

Hayden, P. (2001). The Philosophy of Human Rights. New York: Paragon Press.

Jenkins, P. (2011). The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press.

King, M. (1996). Letter from a Birmingham Jail.NobelPrizes.com. Retrieved from: http://www.nobelprizes.com/nobel/peace/MLK-jail.html.

United Methodist Church. (2013). The Disciplines of the UMC. Retrieved from: http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5066539&ct=6467635&notoc=1 [END OF PREVIEW]

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