What is Sabbath economics?
Sabbath economics is the study (and practice!) of how our economic decisions, both personal and collective, are shaped by our faith.
A great place to start learning about Sabbath economics is with this brief introduction from the Sabbath Economics Collaborative, organized by theologian Ched Myers.
Dale Stitt, who has organized and led many Trips of Perspective for Faith and Money Network, compiled these thoughts on living Sabbath values. They provide a useful framework for starting to think about Sabbath economics in everyday life.
Below are links to a variety of resources, publications and groups on Sabbath economics topics. We’ll be updating this page frequently. Got a suggestion for a resource that should be included here? Email us.
Sabbath economics in the Bible
“Pay Attention to the Great Economy!”: Reflections on Luke 12:13-34, Earth Cosmology and Sabbath Economics
A talk delivered by Ched Myers to the Forum on Faith, Economy and Ecology, on moving beyond growth to a sustainable Earth community. (PDF)
The First Temptation: Israel, Jesus and Sabbath Economics
A talk Lenten retreat talk delivered by Ched Myers for Knox Presbyterian Church. (PDF)
The Church in the Power of the Spirit?: Reflections on Socio-economic Redistribution (and “Halfheartedness”) in Acts 2-5 as Warning Tales
A Ched Myers article on Pentecost as a Spirit-driven imperative to redistribute economic wealth and goods. (PDF)
Hungry for More: Re-engaging Religious Teachings on Consumption
In World Watch magazine, Gary Gardner writes that the Jubilee movement shows “that religious vision has tremendous power to induce societal change.” (PDF)
Sabbath Economics: The gift must always move
This interview with Ched Myers was originally published in Inward/Outward: A Journal of the Servant Leadership School. (PDF)
The Gospel As A Transforming Circle Of Story: Reflections On Luke 9:11-17
Originally published in Celebration, a publication of National Catholic Reporter, this article by Ched Myers examines Luke’s account of the feeding in the wilderness through a Sabbath economics lens. (PDF)
“Behold, the Treasure of the Church”
In this piece for Sojourners Magazine, Ched Myers argues, “The poor are always with us. The question is what we do about it.” (web, paywall)
“It is an issue of equality…”: Biblical Reflections on Wealth and Poverty
Ched Myers contributed this article to Priests and People, a U.K.-based publication. (PDF)
Why Sabbath Economics?
A four-part digital course on Sabbath economics and its biblical foundation. This course is taught by Ched Myers and Elaine Enns and offers suggestions to implement household practices rooted in Sabbath economics. ($)
“Luke’s Jesus Shows and Tells Sabbath Economics”: Five Studies in the Third Gospel
This teaching series from Ched Myers consists of five webinar lectures on Luke’s gospel, showing how Luke portrays Jesus as a visionary and practitioner of Sabbath economics. ($)
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries produces this regular series featuring interviews, teaching, sermons and more from Ched Myers and Elaine Enns.
Mammon or Manna?
A five-part series from Ched Myers, consisting of seven hours of talks given to seminaries and church communities. The series provides an overview of the biblical vision of economic justice:
- An Introduction to Sabbath Economics
- Torah and the Prophets
- Jesus and Sabbath Economics
- Paul and Sabbath Economics
- A Biblical Call to Community Investing
Jesus as a Practitioner of Nonviolent Action
A four-part series from Ched Myers focused on reading Mark 1-3 through the lens of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement. This four-part series was delivered to the Wisconsin Council of Churches:
- Martin Luther King and Jesus: Peacemaking Begins by Disturbing the Peace
- “Let’s Go Catch Some Big Fish”: Jesus’ Call to Discipleship in a World of Injustice
- Healing Political Bodies, Challenging the Body Politic (Mark 1:21-2:12)
- Unmasking Social Injustice, Embodying Sabbath Economics (Mark 2:13-3:6)
The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics
This short e-book leads the reader through a study of the scriptural vision of economic justice. (PDF, $)
Jesus, Liberation, and the Biblical Jubilee: Images for Ethics and Christology
Sharon H. Ringe addresses the Jubilee images and traditions in the Synoptic Gospels, especially in Jesus’ proclamation of the reign of God. Ringe’s thesis is that the agenda of liberation constitutes the core of biblical faith. ($)
Understanding Biblical Themes: Sabbath and Jubilee
Richard H. Lowery examines the biblical Sabbath, Sabbath-year, and jubilee traditions as part of a broader effort to reflect theologically on these challenges and points to ways we might build a global ethic of economic and environmental justice. ($)
Sabbath economics in daily life
“Household practices” refers to a seven-fold framework developed by Ched Myers and Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries for putting the values of Sabbath economics into action in our daily living.
Experimenting with a Household Sabbath Economics Covenant
This document offers a working model for helping those interested in Sabbath economics to focus on their own household economics. The covenant model outlined here draws on both 12-step recovery traditions and lifestyle-audit work. (PDF)
Household Practices: Work & Sabbath
Escaping the “Work More, Spend More” Cycle
In this episode of The Faith & Money Podcast, Pastor Matthew Colwell addresses the matter of slowing down our lives to be more mindful about how we connect our money and our faith. The episode also features Angela Lincoln and Tim Darst, who share their story about choosing to consume less, and opening up a full and faith-filled life for their family by doing so.
Sabbath as Resistance
This homily from Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, New Jersey, addresses the practice of Sabbath as a form of resistance. (YouTube)
Brenton Dickieson discusses the work of Doug Copeland and how it led him to explore a technology-free Sabbath practice in this article from Geez Magazine.
Written by Abraham Joshua Heschel, this classic meditation on the Sabbath introduces readers of all faiths to the idea of a religion of time as a way to find meaning in modern life. ($)
Household Practices: Consumption & Simple Living
A year without buying
In this TEDx talk, Lucía González Schuett tells the story of how she challenged herself to spend an entire year without buying things after leaving a job in the fast fashion industry. (YouTube)
Afrominimalism Offers a New Vision for Black People
A 2021 review of the book The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less says that the book by Christine Platt is a “welcome departure from the ways we currently think about minimalism.”
You Can Be a Minimalist. Yes, You!
Christine Platt delivers this TEDx talk about her view of minimalism as less focused on mainstream aesthetics and more on intentional living. (YouTube)
Consumerism is an Empty Promise
Adam Copeland of Luther Seminary writes in Sojourners Magazine, “Christians cannot renounce their faith at the mortgage broker, car dealer, or luxury-clothing store. We follow God in all we do on earth as citizens of heaven.”
Simplicity: A Practical Guide
From the nonprofit Renovaré, this reflection for simple living draws parallels between simplicity and spirituality: “Simplicity creates margins and spaces and openness in our lives. It honors the resources of our small planet. … Simplicity invites us into these daily pleasures that can open us to God, who is present in them all.”
Simple Living Works
This blog shares resources and ideas that “equip people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly.”
Household Practices: Environment & Green Living
“Ain’t Your Mama’s Heat Wave” First Look
This video introduces the viewer to “Ain’t Your Mama’s Heat Wave,” a stand-up comedy special from the frontlines of the climate crisis. The special is produced by the Hip-Hop Caucus. (YouTube)
Bill McKibben: The Moral Math of Climate Change
In this conversation from the On Being podcast, environmentalist Bill McKibben speaks with Krista Tippett about his evolving perspective on human responsibility in a changing natural world.
Transcript: Greta Thunberg’s Speech At The U.N. Climate Action Summit
Climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit in New York City in September 2019. NPR provides the full transcript of her speech.
Household Practices: Solidarity
Why Rev. William Barber thinks we need a moral revolution
As a public theologian, Barber speaks in morally clarifying terms about the plight of low-income people while refusing to engage in diversionary culture war fights. In this interview with Vox, he addresses why so many Christians care so little about poverty, why he thinks racism harms poor white people as much as it harms poor Black people, and if he believes economic justice is a precondition for racial justice.
The 1619 Project
This initiative from The New York Times Magazine, conceived and reported by Nikole Hannah-Jones, aims to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
The project was expanded upon in 2023 with a six-part television series airing on Hulu, also called The 1619 Project.
Household Practices: Giving
Author and consultant Mark Ewert developed The Generosity Path as a 25-question self-assessment tool designed to spark conversion and thinking about when you give, where you give and how you give.
Soulful Money Matters
Soulful Money Matters is a series of reflections written by longtime friend of Faith and Money Network, Judy Osgood. Her essays explore giving, faith, family life, and much more.
Household Practices: Surplus Capital
Better Banking Options
Better Banking Options was created to direct people to the banking options which are actively contributing to their communities, primarily in serving low- and moderate-income people usually underserved in traditional banking. Find a better bank near you with their search tool and learn why where you choose to bank makes a difference.
Mammon to Manna: Sabbath Economics and Community Investing
This six-part series features Ched Myers and investment advisor Andy Loving of Just Money Advisors. Each segment is approximately 30 minutes long. A facilitation guide accompanies the video series. (YouTube, PDF)
Banking On Us: Investing in the Black Community
This three-part video series discusses key issues that the Black community faces in gaining financial empowerment and highlights Black business and home owners that are thriving towards the goal. The other videos are Bridging the Gap in Black Business and Exploring the Truth of Black Home Ownership. The series highlights the work of Hope Credit Union, a community development financial institution (CDFI) that serves underbanked communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. (YouTube)
Household Practices: Negative Capital
Connections and community
Connecting Faith and Money: The Biblical Vision
In this episode of The Faith & Money Podcast, Ched Myers shares his insights into the Bible’s instructions around money and provides examples of people who are applying these instructions in their daily lives.
The Simpler OneEarth Living Podcast
OneEarth Jubilee and Simple Living Works produce this monthly podcast that explores “ways for us to deepen our commitment to compassionate, essential OneEarth living.”
Money and Faith: The Search for Enough
Edited and compiled by Michael Schut, this book opens up issues of scarcity and abundance, idolatry and freedom thanks to a wide range of contributors, including Henri Nouwen, Ched Myers, Bill McKibben, Sallie McFague and Andy Loving. ($)
The Biblical Jubilee and the Struggle for Life: An Invitation to Personal Ecclesial and Social Transformation
by Ross and Gloria Kinsler ($)
Distributed by Manna Gum, a nonprofit organization based in Australia, Manna Matters publishes three times a year and focuses on issues including the Bible and economy, aid and development, current events and home economics.
Organizations and Speakers
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries was founded in 1998 as an ecumenical experiment in capacity-building for communities of faith, incubating collaborative work around liberation, nonviolence and mutual aid. BCM is a non-profit organizational vehicle for promoting practices of church renewal, restorative justice, Sabbath economics, bioregional sustainability and social transformation.
Just Money Advisors
The financial specialists at Just Money are experts in socially responsible investing and financial strategies.
The Festival Center
Located in Washington, D.C., The Festival Center has served as a hub for activists, artists, people of faith and no faith, seekers, and mission-driven groups for more than 30 years. Its mission is to serve as a generative source for all people to work against all forms of oppression and to strive for a just world.
Jubilee USA Network is an interfaith, non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations, including 75 U.S. institutions and more than 750 faith groups working across the United States and around the globe to address the structural causes of poverty and inequality.
Formerly known as Jubilee Economics Ministries, OneEarth Jubilee offers a vision and practical ideas for treading lightly on the Earth, working at the intersection of ecology, economics and spirituality.
Speakers on Sabbath Economics
The speakers listed at this link are working with, teaching about, and seeking to live Sabbath economics values. They may be available to lead an event or workshop for your faith community.