1st Edition

The Fall of Humankind and Social Progress Engagements with Emil Brunner

By Arttu Mäkipää Copyright 2024
    276 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the link between human capabilities and the preconditions for social progress through an engagement with the theological anthropology of Swiss theologian Emil Brunner (1889–1966). It places Brunner’s thought in dialogue with selected contributors from the contemporary social sciences, examining approaches from economics, sociology and philosophy as put forward by Gary S. Becker, Christian Smith and Martha Nussbaum. This dialogic format helps to crystallise both agreements and differences and thus facilitate greater understanding between theology and other disciplines. Questions explored in the discussion relate to the emergence of human nature (the person) and the capabilities human beings possess, as well as how these develop in a social context. The author focuses in particular on the impact of sin (the Fall) and considers the mixed blessings of economic progress. By providing pointers on how to bring back the human person in social disciplines, the book hopes to contribute to improved understanding of the ethical dimension of social progress and human flourishing. It will be of particular interest to scholars of analytic and systematic theology, but also scholars from economics and social sciences with openness to theological engagement.

    1 Introduction

    PART I
    The Fall and Contemporary Social Sciences: Engaging Emil Brunner

    2 Emil Brunner’s Theological Anthropology

    3 Economics: The Human Being and Human Capital

    4 Development: The Capabilities Approach

    5 Sociology: The Person in Social Sciences

    Part II
    The Fall and Social Progress: Who Is in Control?

    6 Sin and Moral Evil in the Social Realm

    7 Imbalanced Social Progress?

    8 The Paradox of Economic Progress

    9 Conclusion


    Arttu Mäkipää is an affiliated researcher in the Department of Systematic Theology at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (ETF) in Leuven, Belgium. Trained in both economics and theology, he has also worked as a European Union official for a number of years and has extensive experience in the international policy field.