Monday, 28 November 2011

What's Really Behind the Euro Crisis?

What's really behind the Euro crisis? Why, it's about whether hard-working, frugal Lutherans will bail out profligate Latins, of course. The Reformation may be written off in some quarters as ancient history, but old habits born of religious sanction die hard, even in secular Europe. One financial journalist sees the crisis as essentially a religio-cultural one revolving around whether countries whose ethos was shaped by the Protestant work ethic will assume responsibility for the debts of societies who are historically less constrained by religious taboos on excessive consumption and spending. Read her opinion here. There's no detailed sociological analysis here, nor would we expect it in such a forum, and Ms Francis is painting with a broad brush (in what sense has the Netherlands been formed by a Lutheran ethos?) but it's heartening to see at least one journalist taking religion seriously as a significant motivator of human actions and shaper of cultural mores, even long after the vitality of those religious traditions has been weakened by decades of attack from both within and without.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

That´s a typical Calvinist view not a Lutheran one. According to this view Ethiopia should be a wealthy country and it is not. A more Lutheran approach is to examine how usury works here and how the euro was imposed on the public in order to create a super-state trying to erase whole nations.
Cordially
XAVIER

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Ethiopia?

Anonymous said...

In Ethiopia there are five million members of the Church Mekane Jesu. I don´t know how many Lutherans there are in Germany but as far as I know it is quite difficult to find them outside the SELK.
Cordially
XAVIER

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Xavier,

My understanding (and experience of Ethiopian refugees) is that many of the Ethiopian Lutherans are actually charismatics - we'd need to factor that in to our evaluation of them as Lutheran in anything other than name. In any case, many of them are first generation Christians or converts from Coptic Orthodoxy -there hasn't been time for a Lutheran ethos to take hold even if it existed in the Mekane Jesu church.

XAVIER said...

I think climate and popular culture has a more decisive influence on hard work. When Germans come to live here in Spain they are not much more hardworking than the average Spaniard and viceversa Spaniards who go to live in Germany or other North European countries are as hardworking as the average local citizen,
I´ve followed your web on Sasse for years because I have been interested in Sasse´s writings for many years. I think he´s a great lutheran theologian who, for example, would understand my point in this debate

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Ah, Xavier, my Spanish reader and linker!
Good to make your acquaintance, my friend!

XAVIER said...

Greetings from Spain where I am a menmber of a tiny lutheran commmunity, It is most interesting to follow your webs. Well, you know the wonderful tool we have in orderr to spread Word-based, sound doctrine and thinking. Thank you for your kind words and webs