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CTF is a broad-based gathering of people exploring Christian Theology and how it applies today





Saturday 24th April 2010


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Recessionary Times


 New Ethical Questions?





Rev. Dr. Johnston McMaster


Dr. Johnston McMaster is an ordained Methodist minister. One of his early appointments was in Clonakilty.


He now lectures with the Irish School of Ecumenics and is co-ordinator of the Education for Reconciliation Programme in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties. 


He is a regular presenter at international conferences and has been especially involved with South Korea and Sri Lanka. 


His areas of interest are peace-building, reconciliation, restorative justice, Irish history, contextual theology, socio-political hermeneutics and Celtic Christianity. 


He has written extensively, co-authored Communities of Reconciliation and has just published A Passion for Justice: Social Ethics in the Celtic Tradition.  A forthcoming publication will be entitled Skills for a Ministry of Reconciliation.


He is also a regular broadcaster.




What does Christian theology have to say in the current discussions around Ireland’s future in the light of the economic recession?  What values should be promoted in finding a way forward?


Johnston McMaster will propose that the recession offers a vital opportunity to ask new ethical questions leading to an alternative vision for the future.  He will look to the biblical theme of covenant to offer a model for how our society can manage its wealth to the benefit of all its citizens.







Rochestown Park Hotel

Douglas, Cork




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Registration fee €15, Paid-up Members €10



09.30 Registration

10.00           Dr. McMaster’s Talk       

10.45               Questions

11.00           Coffee Break

11.30           Small Group Discussion

12.15           Large Group Feedback

12.45           Departure







Dr. McMaster’s Hand-out


Recovering Economic Ethics:

Covenant as an Alternative Socio-Economic Vision


  1. Collapse of Institutional Moral Authority

  2. PCG Problem
    Power, control, greed and globalisation

  3. The United Nations Millennium Declaration
    Fundamental values for
    international relations in the 21st century.

                        • Freedom


  • Solidarity

  • Tolerance

  • Respect for nature

  • Shared responsibility

  1. Covenant as an Alternative Socio-Economic Vision

• Decalogue as economically driven

• Jubilee - Sabbath

Deuteronomic programme for relieving poverty

• Debts owed by the poor are to be cancelled after seven years, so that there is no permanent underclass (Deut 15 v 1-8)

No interest to be charged on loans to members of the community (Deut 23 v 19-20)

Permanent hospitality is to be extended to runaway slaves (Deut 23 v 15-16).

No collateral is to be required on loans made to poor people (Deut 24 v 10-13)

No withholding of wages that are due to the poor (Deut 24 v 14-15)

No injustice towards a resident alien or an orphan (Deut 24 v 17-18)

The economy is to make regular provision for the needy and the marginalised (Deut 24 v 19-22)

Core covenant values
Steadfast love - solidarity

Justice - distribution of resources and goods

Righteousness - putting things right socially and economically

  1. Covenantal Economics in Mark

Mark 10 v 17-22

Mark 10 v 23-27

Mark 10 v 28-31

Questions for Reflection and Exploration

  1. In what practical ways can we become more aware of a new sense of our place in the cosmic community?
  2.  How do we put the UN Millennium Declaration values at the heart of this island's life in recessionary times?
  3. What difference would the covenantal core values of steadfast love, justice and righteousness make to national and community life in Ireland today?
  4. What would it mean to live the covenantal/kingdom economics of Jesus in today's world?



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Past Events



CTF Committee 10- 12

Mary Coakley,  Charles Conroy, Anne Francis, Geraldine Gracie, Derek Johnston,

Seán O’Sullivan Steve Lawes, Evelyne O’Callaghan, Tom Riordan, John Scanlan