A Unique Broadcasting production for BBC Radio 4.
Economics is the discipline that politicians obey at all costs. Economists have become the most trusted advisers to those in power. But Mark Tully asks if the economic growth that politicians use to judge their country’s state of health is undermining our spiritual well being.
What would society look like if spirituality and economics were linked, if religious organisations were more actively engaged with material concerns, or if the purpose of economic policy was not just to maximise production but to increase a sense of inner peace which spirituality can give?
Mark examines this question with the help of Joseph Prabhu who studied with some of India’s greatest economists and who refuses to place the blame solely at the door of governments and policy advisors. He suggests that those who stress the importance of spirituality are also partly to blame for what he calls ‘greed-based economics’ because they have ignored our material needs. Maybe this, he feels, is one reason why economic thinking that ignores spirituality has such a grip on us that it seems to be the way of life.