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Ethical foundations of the contemporary living wage movement

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Faith-based activism in living wage campaigns is on the rise. Summarizes recent campaigns to enact living wage ordinances in US municipalities, underscoring the role of community-church partnerships such as Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, and other local organizations in the struggle for wage justice. Explores the theological bases of this activism by tracing the evolution of the concept of a just, living wage in Christian social economic thought. To illustrate the historical and philosophical roots of living wage discourse, provides textual analysis of major Roman Catholic and Episcopal Church documents and briefly considers writings by US social economists in the first half of the twentieth century.
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Keywords: Churches; Economics; Policy; Social accounting; Wages

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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