Franciscan Spirituality and Economics

Laszlo Zsolnai ‘Franciscan Spirituality and Economics .’ Religions , 2018, vol.9, no. 10, pp. 288-294

St. Francis was hostile to money and material wealth. He was also against exploitation or misuse of natural creatures and promoted voluntary poverty, sharing, and universal brotherhood. This paper examines the implications of St. Francis’s views for economics. It is argued that St. Francis’s views imply the substantive notion of the term “economic” and favor material sufficiency instead of financial efficiency. Pope Francis’s encyclical letter “Laudato si’” is consistent with and supports St. Francis’s views, which emphasize the frugality of consumption and acknowledging the intrinsic value of nature. The overall vision of St. Francis can be characterized as “The Commonwealth of Life” based on a God-centered, spiritual way of living and acting. The paper suggests that the models of a sufficiency-oriented community economy are relevant for realizing St. Francis’s legacy in today’s reality of climate change described by climate scientists as the “Hothouse Earth” pathway.

Franciscan Spirituality and Economics