Volume 41, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2021
And It Was Good: Building an Ethics of Sufficiency
To follow Jesus’s command to love our neighbors in our neoliberal age, Christians must cultivate new theological and economic stories that urge practices of sufficiency—ways of living with “enough.” The neoliberal version of the United States’s origin story of the American Dream, built on individual responsibility and meritocracy, knows no end to monetary accumulation. And the ways neoliberal rationality colors the Christian creation story can reinforce the drive toward endless accumulation. There are ways of living and practicing Christian stories, however, that can cultivate the kind of communities that form people to know how to say “enough.” This article argues that there is no genuine community, service to others, or love of neighbor if Christians cannot live out of these new stories that cultivate an ethics of sufficiency. Economically privileged Christians cannot love our lower-income neighbors if we continue to participate in a rationality that encourages limitless economic acquisition.