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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.33 n.2 Pretoria  2012 



Food justice and Christian ethics



Heinrich Bedford-StrohmI, II, III, IV

IExtraordinary professor, Department of Ecclesiology and Ethics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
IIHonorary professor, Systematic Theology, University of Bamberg, Germany
IIIPresiding Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Bavaria, Germany
IVResearch associate, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa





The article dealt with the moral and political problem of international food justice in which the deep contradiction between the present situation of malnourishment and starvation in large parts of the global population on the one hand and the biblical notion of the preferential option for the poor on the other hand was described. This ecumenically widely accepted notion was clarified in several aspects. How deeply this is rooted in the history of Christian social thought was shown by Martin Luther's writings on the economy which have remained relatively unknown in the churches and in the scholarly world. The article then presented three models of Christian economic ethic: the technical economic model, the utopian economic model and the public theological economic model. On the basis of the public theological model seven challenges for international food justice were presented. The basis for these challenges is an understanding of globalisation which guarantees just participation for everyone and deals with nature in an ecologically sustainable way. The interests of small farmers are the basis for judging the activities of big agro-corporations. Public theology is the background for an active involvement of the churches as agents of a global civil society to promote international food justice.



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Heinrich Bedford-Strohm
Katharina-von-Bora-Straße 11-13
80333 München

Received: 25 July 2012
Accepted: 08 Oct. 2012
Published: 06 Dec. 2012

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