A Christian understanding of property : spiritual themes underlying Western property
conference contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Garrick SmallGarrick Small
Interest in customary title has raised awareness of the cultural dependence of property and its relationship to spirituality. Western culture has a historical connection with Christian spirituality, yet its property institution is seldom related to it. Property is found within Christian thought from the very beginning of the Old Testament and shares several important commonalities with customary peoples. The notion of property is evident in the gospels along with repeated comments on the correct application of riches. Early Christianity can be viewed as a development of the Old Testament property institution consistent with other aspects of Christian moral thought. Changes in the institution of property through the Christian era can be seen to parallel changes in Christian thought eventually leading to present day property. Overall, property can be linked to the spiritual roots of Western culture in a manner that has the capacity to inform the development of dialogue with customary peoples in their endeavours to assert the validity of their property conventions.