Care for the Poor and Needy: The Bible’s Contribution to an Economic and Social Safety Net
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Simkins, Ronald A.
Although some form of economic safety net is generally assumed in current political conversations, debate over the nature and extent of the safety net is perhaps the source of the great divide in American politics at the beginning of the twenty-first century. At issue, for any aspect of the safety net, are the questions of who is protected or supported, from what, and to what extent? The agent of the safety net is generally assumed to be the government. The concern expressed through the construct of a safety net – to protect or support the economically disenfranchised when they are most vulnerable – is evident throughout the biblical tradition. Yet, as with today, there is no unanimity. This paper will explore the various visions presented through the legal traditions, asking the questions with regard to those who are vulnerable: who is protected or supported, from what, and by whom?|Keywords: poor, poverty, safety net, biblical law, economy
Simkins, Ronald A. (2017), Care for the Poor and Needy: The Bible’s Contribution to an Economic and Social Safety Net. Supplement Series for the Journal of Religion & Society, 14.
Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University
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