• Homily Notes for Climate Protests

    ClimateStrike web jcfjAs our approach to the climate emergency is informed by Laudato Si', our Social Theologian Kevin Hargaden has created Homily Notes to be used in church to accompany the day's readings, or by lay persons as a reflection for prayer.

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  • Why I'm Striking for Climate Action

    climate web jcfjOn Friday, September 20th, there will be a Global Climate Strike, a protest led by school students who are calling on everyone to make their voice heard and demand action on the climate emergency. Ciara Murphy is joining them.

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  • Retrofit Government Priorities

    web retrofit jcfjHundreds of homeowners have been left high and dry by the SEAI retrofit scheme. Kevin Hargaden asks if the Government is really as invested in climate breakdown mitigation as it should be?

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  • IPCC Report is More Than Cost Benefit Analysis

    jcfj web climate changeThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on land use was published today [8 August 2019]. It paints a stark but familiar picture of the impact human activities are having on the environment. The report, which draws on contributions from over 100 leading scientists from 52 countries across the world, highlights the need for action now, says Dr Ciara Murphy.

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About the Centre

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice works to combat injustice and marginalisation in Irish society, through social analysis, education and advocacy.

The Centre highlights complex social issues, informs opinion and advocates for governmental policy change to create a fair and equitable society for all.

Analysis on our Key Issues

People in prison are amongst the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. The majority have left school early, experience literacy and learning difficulties and have a history of unemployment... Click here to view all of our material on Penal Policy

Environmental protection has emerged as a key element of social justice debates in recent decades... Click here to view all of our material on Environmental Justice

The right to a safe and secure place to live is one of the most basic human rights, it is fundamental to enable people to live a dignified life... Click here to view all of our material on Housing Policy

In our political discourse, every question of human flourishing seems to be reduced to bottom-line thinking. This focus on riches impoverishes our shared discourse and has serious negative consequences for society Click here to view material on Economic Justice

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice focuses on a number of other issues... Explore all here

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Exploring Social Justice

Why Care - Social Justice Awareness for Younger People

Back in the Bubble Once More

bubble land webIt’s a fool’s game to try to play the soothsayer, but it may be reasonable to suggest that the most important economic landmark of 2018 was (for those with “eyes to see”) that we are once again back in bubble-land, says Kevin Hargaden.

At the JCFJ we dedicated an issue of Working Notes to thinking about Ireland ten years after the last crash and as we went to press, we were reading about how rental prices had outstripped the peak of the Celtic Tiger-era. Six months on, that rental bubble seems to be accelerating. We are in the midst of an irrational exuberance and its energies are bound to flag, and implode.

Perhaps the trade squabbles between the US and China will not escalate into full-fledged war and we hope that a deal will be secured to create a managed Brexit, but there remain all sorts of global risks that threaten Irish economic fortunes. The failure of successive Irish governments to shift away from the dead-end delusion of property-generated prosperity means that when the shocks come, our collective and individual indebtedness leaves us acutely vulnerable. That should be a concern to the wealthy and the well-off, because their fragile investments might not pay off. But it is a pressing ethical and problem because of how it will, even more than the last crash, disproportionately impact on the poorest in our society. Ireland’s GDP and GNP statistics have improved, but our social fabric is still ravaged by austerity. There is no margin-space left for the marginalised.

Rick, the protagonist in Casablanca, may well have been an Irish economic commentator. When it comes to foretelling a bust, we can perpetually say, “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and (that pattern will repeat) for the rest of our lives.” It might not come in 2019, or even 2020, but the events of 2018 mark out our destiny. To re-use the language of the last crash, there will be no “soft landing” for those at the bottom of our society.

Predicting when the bubble will burst is the business of the seer, not the prophet. From an economic perspective, the major work of the Centre this year was the publication of my book, Theological Ethics in a Neoliberal Age. It argues that the Irish commitment to an economic system that imagines market competitiveness is the default solution to any social problem is on a par with a fundamentalist religious conviction. In the face of all evidence, and the overwhelming argument of reason, our leaders continue to trust in the bankrupt ideology of neoliberalism.

In such a context, the quiet acts of Christian generosity and faithfulness take on an almost subversive quality. Christianity has more to say about economics than Christians realise. Economic circumstances might make retrieving such wisdom relevant again, all too soon.

 

Posted in Economic Policy News

Tags: Economy,, Housing, Theology,

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