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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pope Francis Lashes Out Against the Military Industrial Complex: On the Idolatry of Money

It is not often that the global economy’s military-industrial complex is tied to youth unemployment and, moreover, to the idolatry of money. Yet this is precisely the thread woven by the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church. While the pope’s comments risk a certain overreach from the theological to the terrain of international political economy, which proffers its own body of knowledge, it can also be said that having a transcendent referent as one’s focus enables a person to make subtle taken-for-granted assumptions in our economic, social, and political systems transparent. In articulating an economic (and related political) center and giving it a distinctly theological interpretation stemming from the Biblical passage, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” the Roman pope provides the world with a way to do political economy from a distinctly religious vantage-point.