Brown, Malcolm
August 2004
Studies in Christian Ethics;2004, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p173
Academic Journal
Ronald Preston found Alasdair MacIntyre's analysis of plurality and incommensurability unconvincing, holding that, ultimately, a common rationality enabled disparate perspectives to achieve shared positions. This commitment made Preston sceptical of theologies which drew on MacIntyre to deny the possibility of meaningful dialogue with economics but he ignored the argument that shared liberal roots might constrain his own critique of market institutions. Preston's theological conversation with economics assumes a state-based capitalism, political dominance over economics and a thin plurality. Globalisation challenges such foundations severely but MacIntyre's focus on communities of tradition offers only a weak challenge to global economic power. Preston's understanding of the significance of finitude in economics and MacIntyre's focus on the problems of plurality and the communitarian response are both important in any response to contemporary globalisation. This article explores whether the respective virtues of Preston's and MacIntyre's approaches can coalesce in a theology adequate to the global era.


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