6pm - 7pm, room M1 (WBS Teaching Centre)
Right Reverend James Jones
We are all familiar with the bright spotlight shone on the banking industry in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis. With the global economy in pieces, widening income inequality and soaring unemployment, commentators began questioning the workings of these financial entities which were deemed ‘too big to fail’. Taking this one step further, critics are now questioning prevailing economic theory, in particular challenging the lack of credence given to issues such as morality and altruism in forecasting and recommending agent behaviour. Consilience in this area is growing; recent evidence from the fields of cognitive neuroscience and behavioural genetics is challenging the ‘rule’ of self-interest that economic theory has relied upon so heavily. The Right Reverend Jones will discuss the role of morality in economic systems.
The oft-quoted Right Reverend James Jones, former Bishop of Liverpool is a preeminent speaker for the church. Perhaps one of Jones most prestigious, yet challenging, undertakings was chairing the Hillsborough Independent Panel and clearing the name of football fans embroiled in the tragedy. Until this point it is fair to say that no one had taken responsibility or indeed apologised for the disaster at Hillsborough in April 1989, which saw 96 football fans lose their lives. In what was a rather meaty post for a Church of England representative, Jones took on a serious task that put MPs, the police, the media, the judiciary, and possibly the government of the day, all in the frame. Jones has since commented that a significant personal motivation in accepting the position was his belief that the church should take an active role in helping to frame a just society.
In keeping with this belief, Bishop Jones has also been a hands-on champion for urban regeneration and has developed a passion for the environment. Indeed, a published author, his book "Jesus and the Earth" is his interpretation of what the Gospels can teach Christians about the environment and sustainability. Given Jones belief that the church engage in promoting that which is just, it should come as no surprise that he undertook his own research in response to the recent financial crisis . The culmination of this extensive study was the excellent three-part series for Radio 4 exploring the moral dimensions of the economic crisis. Entitled ‘The Bishop and the Bankers’, the series considers the morality of individuals, organisations and the platform on which our economic system is built.
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The Department has arranged a Special Lecture Series for Terms 2 and 3 for all Economics Undergraduates. This lecture series is designed to broaden education and to help students interpret what they have learnt in lectures and classes to some real world, interesting and important situations and subjects.
A drinks reception will follow after the talk in the foyer area of M1.