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Having and Sharing: Theological Perspectives from India on Consumerism and Exclusion

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image of International Journal of Public Theology

This article seeks to understand and interpret the theological implications of poverty and prosperity coexisting in a globalized world. After offering examples of the present economic realities and disparities, questions are raised regarding the co-option of the local by the global and of the global by the local, then the specific challenges posed by cultural difference and the quest for partnership in an economically unequal and unjust context are analysed. Through several instances from the history of the early church, the article shows how cultural heterogeneity, material disparity and attention to charity guided the theology and the practice of the early teachers of faith in matters regarding having and sharing. At that time, charity, partnership, and attention to the strangers in their midst were not mere expressions of faith in God, but consequences of the experience of God emerging through that faith.


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