Malthus and the Doctrine of Evil

A new piece on the reverend Thomas Malthus, one of the not-so-great classical economists, and the doctrine of evil is now up on Political Theology.


7 thoughts on “Malthus and the Doctrine of Evil

  1. A brilliant bit of research.

    This piece is essential for a full understanding of Malthus.
    If we can get the History of Economic thought back on the syllabus at Greenwich then this should be on the reading list.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks, George. It is a snippet from a new book, written with Christina Petterson and called ‘Idols of Nations’. Grotius, Locke, Smith and Malthus are the concerns, with a particular focus on what we call the ‘myth of capitalism’. Grotius begins the process, struggling with the biblical story of the Fall, Locke takes it a significant step further (again in a struggle with the Bible), and then Smith does his well-known work on it, on the cusp between secular and theological tendencies (hence the ability of both secular neoclassical economists and theologians to find material germane to their perspectives in his work). Malthus attempts half a dozen times to retell it, but with a distinctly downcast tone due to his doctrine of evil.

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