Debt is a modern form of slavery, claims bishop

By staff writers
17 Aug 2009

Peter Selby’s groundbreaking book, Grace and Mortgage, originally published in the late 1990s in support of the millennium debt campaigns, has been reissued in relation to the current credit crunch and recession.

Dr Selby, the former Anglican Bishop of Worcester, demonstrates how over-reliance on credit brings about a power relationship through the bond between debtor and creditor that can be cripplingly unequal and constraining.

Debt, the author suggests, is now a modern form of slavery.

Dr Selby, now President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards for prisons, says that whether we are talking about personal debt, communities in Britain with a significant debt problem or the international debt crisis, the root issues of money, power and accountability have to be tackled.

The book, published in the UK by Darton, Longman and Todd, also provides an acute theological analysis of debt and money in the modern world, drawing upon biblical traditions of thought about the relationship between resources, human community, obligation and gift-giving.

The central argument of Grace and Mortgage is that redoing economics is crucial to the creation of just societies and also to the kind of 'household' the church is seeking to be.

Buy Grace and Mortgage, by Peter Selby, through Ekklesia here: http://books.ekklesia.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=341

Keywords: debt | mortgage | peter selby
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