Having: Property and Possession in Religious and Social Life

October 26-27, 2000

The Having Conference, sponsored by the Lilly Foundation and the Divinity School, was held at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago from October 26-27, 2000. It was well attended by scholars, business people, clergy and church leaders, as well as interested members of the public. The conference was dedicated to the exploration of matters of property and possession in religious and social life. Eminent economists, political theorists, biblical scholars, theologians, and ethicists were invited to speak and to lead discussions on a wide range of issues. Topics included: contemporary theory and its relation to the moral life; the impact of biblical religions on Western cultural heritage; religion and economic life; the connection between the media and the market in the global scene; Roman Catholic social teaching; the logic of grace; and the fact of greed. A book of the various contributions will be published under the title Having: Property, Possession, and the Theology of Culture.

Conference participants, Claudia Camp (Texas Christian University), Arjo Klamer (Erasmus University, Holland), and William Schweiker (The University of Chicago Divinity School) were invited to discuss the conference and answer calls on WBEZ's Odyssey, a Chicago public radio program. Professor Schweiker was interviewed about the conference for the Religion column of the Chicago Tribune. Aspects of the conference have also appeared inSightings, the Marty Center's biweekly email column.