A journal of academic theology

Piketty and the Pope: A Dialogue Begun


In CAPITAL in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty analyzes wealth accumulation and inequality under advanced capitalism. Moralists and students of papal thought will need to come to grips with its argument, particularly since Pope Francis’s Evangelii gaudium is said to have posed radical criticisms of economic inequality. This article puts Piketty into dialogue with Francis’s critique of economic inequality by arguing, first, that Piketty uncovers the kinds of inequality of which Catholic social teaching must take account, and second, that Francis’s work contains the resources needed to show the moral significance of Piketty’s findings. The argument for this second conclusion shows what is and is not radical in Evangelii gaudium’s treatment of economic inequality