Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Miguel A. De La Torre, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Luis Leon

Third Advisor

George DeMartino


Decolonization, Heterodox economics, Latinx thinking, Moral visions, Political economy, Social ethics


This dissertation examines moral visions of the political economy of mainstream Christian social ethics through a liberationist and postcolonial analysis of the work of three leading political economic ethicists, Daniel Finn, Max Stackhouse, and Philip Wogaman. Constrained by their subject position within modernity/coloniality and a commitment to a neoclassical understanding of the political economy, mainstream Christian ethicists have stopped short of condemning the inextricable complicity of the capitalist political economy to colonialism and its racist, patriarchal, and oppressive power relations. This dissertation argues that the moral visions of mainstream Christian social ethicists must be decolonized and points to Latina/o thinking and heterodox economic thought as two starting points for such a decolonization of the moral imaginary.

The project makes contributions to both Christian social ethics and Latina/o religious cultural studies. It contributes to Christian social ethics by examining the underlying commitment to neoclassical economic thought of mainstream Christian social ethics, deploying postcolonial hermeneutics to construct ethical frameworks that move beyond collusion with colonialism and complicity with empire, and offering a more careful analysis of political economy than is generally found within the liberationist strand of Christian social ethics. In applying the insights of Latina/o thinking to political economic ethics, it contributes to Latina/o religious cultural studies by moving beyond the stagnated discussions of identity politics, self-determination, and minority rights. It also contributes to the field by empowering Latina/o religious cultural scholars to engage in non-capitalist economic theorizing by providing new analytical tools to combat the hegemonic conceptualization of capitalism as co-terminus with the political economy.

Mainstream Christian moral visions of the political economy must be decolonized to remain Christian and moral. Christian social ethics must draw on economic analyses that acknowledge the exploitative record of capitalism and its inextricable complicity with the modern/colonial complex. It must also avoid the hegemonic suppression of subjugated knowledges by theorizing from multiple places at once, taking on a subaltern perspective in addition to its unavoidably modern/colonial perspective.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Rodolfo J. Hernandez-Diaz


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

236 p.


Regional studies, Ethics, Theology