Distant Markets, Distant Harms: Thinking Clearly about Economic Complicity

Daniel Finn, Ph.D.

There are many reasons why Christians should feel responsible to relieve the suffering of people half-way around the planet. These reasons have nothing to do with whether the believer played any role in causing that suffering. However, this presentation will ask: Is there a causal relationship between me and the Asian woman who sewed the stitches on the collar of the shirt I am wearing - even if I have no idea who she is? And if she is denied bathroom breaks ro may even have been killed in a fire or the collapse of a factory, am I, along with others, in any way responsible because I bought this shirt? Economic science depicts the market as an abstract mechanism, but understanding the market as relational - as a system of relationships - is superior, both empirically and morally. Christians who want to live as responsible consumers need to think carefully about these relationships, particularly those that harm distant others. 

Daniel Finn

Daniel Finn is the William E. and Virginia Clemens Professor of Economics and a Professor of Moral Theology for both Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary and the Department of Theology at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University. He is a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Society of Christian Ethics, and the Association for Social Economics. Dan has received several awards including the Monica Hellwig Award and is listed in multiple Who's Who. He is the editor of The True Wealth of Nations (Oxford University Press), and, most recently, author of Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications (forthcoming from Fortress Press).



Date & Location 

Tuesday, April 29 - 6-9 p.m., Town & Country Club, 300 Mississippi River Blvd N, Saint Paul 55104 


A typical Theology Day consists of registration and refreshments, followed by a period of conversation/presentation/lecture. The conversation then continues as participants are given a chance to continue their discussions with one another. Morning presentations at Emmaus Hall are followed by a complimentary lunch for all participants, and most evening sessions include refreshments.

There is no fee for Theology Day, but registration is required.  Free-will offerings and gifts to support the mission of the School of Theology·Seminary are gratefully accepted.

For more information, contact our Development Office at 320-363-3570 or [email protected].

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