The Kingdom of God and the Economy

A last brief thought on the Moravians (for the moment)
The presence of the Moravians brought both spiritual and economic blessing to the countries where they planted churches.  They seemed to be entrepreneurs as well as preachers!

They supplied the needs of the poor and developed businesses, providing employment.

Historian Ruth Tucker writes:

‘In Labrador, Moravian missionaries supported themselves through trade, with enough money left over to provide basic necessities for needy Eskimos.

They owned ships and trading posts, and through their example they interested Eskimos in [economic] pursuits.  The effect of their ministry was not only to bring the gospel to the people but also to significantly upgrade the economy.

In Surinam, on the north east coast of South America, the Moravians established a variety of businesses, including tailoring, watch-making, and baking.

As their economic influence grew, so did their spiritual influence, and a thriving Moravian church emerged in that country.’  (Ruth Tucker – From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, Zondervan, p. 69)

For a more critical assessment of the Moravian interaction with Inuit peoples of Labrador see http://www.heritage.nf.ca/aboriginal/inuit_impacts.html

For the next part of our Church History journey, where we encounter Jonathan Edwards click here

© 2009 Lex Loizides

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One thought on “The Kingdom of God and the Economy

  1. Martin Winter May 17, 2009 / 4:57 pm

    As far as I know, it was Abraham Dürninger, a merchant who was put in charge of the main store in Herrnhut, who first instituted fixed prices for the products of the local textile manufacturers. That way, they were able to expect a reasonable and fairly stable income from their labor, without having to bargain at the market.

    I suppose that part of the whole story is that Zinzendorf really was a Lutheran/Pietist, and perhaps the concept of vocation had an influence on the Moravians as well. They did not separate daily life from spiritual life – for example, it was permitted to take part in the prayer watch while working.

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