St Paul's Institute

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Mission

What is St Paul's Institute?

St Paul's Institute exists to engage the financial world with questions of morality and ethics and how they relate to finance, business and the economy. In doing this, the Institute seeks to recapture the Cathedral's ancient role as a centre for public debate and seeks to consider these issues in the wider context of the common good and human flourishing.

By exploring themes of equality, stewardship and the meaning of the common good, we hope to bring the distinctive wisdom of the Christian tradition to bear on our understanding of the role of the economy in modern society.

Goals

The goals of St Paul's Institute are as follows:

  1. To engage with questions of morality and ethics and how they relate to finance, business and the economy. 
  2. To consider finance, business and the economy in the wider context of the common good and human flourishing.
  3. To bring the distinctive wisdom of the Christian tradition to bear on our understanding of the role of the economy in modern society.
  4. To stimulate Christian learning (academic and applied) on the relationship between faith and the economy.
  5. In doing so, to make a respected and distinctive contribution as an agent for engagement, influence and change to the furtherance of human flourishing through economic activity in the City of London and beyond.
  6. In pursuing these goals, we will always seek to create a safe space for dialogue, promote understanding, and work in partnership or co-operation with other Christian denominations, other faith communities, and all people of goodwill.

Archbishop Rowan Williams on St Paul's Institute

"An ethical approach to economics requires us to move away from the illusion that economics can be considered separately from questions of the health and well-being of the society we inhabit. It also involves recognising that we exist in a world of materially limited resource - so that environmental degradation has to be taken into account in any assessment of the cost of projects or transactions. 

I suspect that getting this right would in itself introduce into the language of economics a sense that it couldn't be only about the mechanics of generating money and might help keep issues of ethics, justice and trust in perspective.  

So I welcome the continuing focus that St Paul's Institute brings to these issues by providing a challenging and well-resourced space for conversation and I wish the Institute every success in this new phase of its work." - June 2010

Relationship to St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Institute is a part of the wider mission of St Paul's Cathedral. The cathedral does not necessarily share the views of those who contribute to the web site. Rather, the cathedral supports the Institute as a space in which this important discussion can take place.

Many of our events and other programmes take place in or around the cathedral itself, and our offices are located nearby.  It is the location of St Paul's Cathedral and its role within the very heart of the City of London that provides us with a unique opportunity to directly engage those in the UK's financial hub as well as Christians from all walks of life and nationalities.