Economics goes beyond the the law of supply and demand.

The UST Theological Society held this year’s Edward Schillebeeckx lecture forum with the theme “The Economics of God: The Relationship Between Theos and Oikos,” last Aug.30 at the Medicine Auditorium.

Thomasian environmentalist and human rights activist Rodne Galicha focused on finding the economic concepts of spirituality by looking beyond its social context, revisiting the concepts of creationism, environmentalism, and asceticism.

While many might consider economics as a social science, Galicha, a former seminarian, brought the subject to a new light and related it to religion, particularly Catholicism.

The seminar, named after Edward Schillebeeckx, a Roman Catholic theologian from Belgium who belonged to the Dominican Order, gathered theologians for a lecture on doctrines of Catholic faith in the view of Schillebeeckx’s works.

Human beings as economists

In his lecture, Galicha said grasping the so-called "economics of God" is not easy. To be able to understand it, he believes it is necessary for theologians to “take off their clothes” and create a new perspective.

According to him, the words “oikos” means household and “nomos” means distribution or management. Bringing these words together with the idea of creationism, Galicha said that human beings come from nature, and that we are an essential part of it.

“We are part of creation, and we cannot deny that fact. [The only thing that sets us apart is that] we have free will and free soul,” he said.

Human beings are the real economists, emanating from the economic role of God and the grand history of creation, he argued.

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“He (Schillebeecx) said that without any condition being placed or any guarantee being asked of them, the creation of human beings is a blank check for which God alone is a guarantor,” he said.

However, people today are more attracted to the value of money instead of the value of God’s creation.

“It is not man who is in charge of money anymore. Now, it is money that makes the world go round. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the Earth to money, but to us humans,” Galicha said.

He described men as worshippers of the idols of profit and consumption, branding themas individuals living in a culture of waste.

Galicha called for solidarity against those in possession of greater resources, addressing public service providers to never tire of working for the betterment of mankind.

“To all people of good will who are working for social justice, never tire of working for a more just society, marked by greater solidarity. No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world.”

Galicha ended his lecture through describing the culture of selfishness and individualism. He said that though it often prevails in our society, but it is not what builds a more habitable world.

He emphasized the fact that the culture of solidarity is not treating others as rivals for statistics, but as brothers and sisters.

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