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At the Altar of Wall Street: The Rituals, Myths, Theologies, Sacraments, and Mission of the Religion Known as the Modern Global Economy
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At the Altar of Wall Street: The Rituals, Myths, Theologies, Sacraments, and Mission of the Religion Known as the Modern Global Economy


Eerdmans 2015

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

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Gathering Interest


In this provocative book, Scott Gustafson argues that economics functions in our current global culture as religions have functioned in others. He describes and analyzes the rituals, pilgrimage sites, myths, prophets, sacraments, and mission of economics to show how the economy is our de facto god. Discussing such topics as debt, economic terrorism, globalization, and money as the economy’s sacrament, Gustafson’s At the Altar of Wall Street encompasses a broad sweep of history, philosophy, culture studies, economic ideas, and religion in its trenchant analysis.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

For more historical background on modern economics and its intersection with ethics, check out Sources in Early Modern Economics, Ethics, and Law.

Key Features

  • Offers a thought-provoking comparison between modern economics and religion
  • Sheds light on the spiritual overtones of present-day economic systems
  • Provides a thorough analysis that believers can use to engage the wider culture


  • Economic Rituals
  • Economic Myths, Metaphors, and Rhetoric
  • The Economy’s Theologians, Prophets, Reformers, Terrorists, and Priests
  • Corporations: The Religious Communities of the Economic Faithful
  • Money: The Sacrament of the Market Economy
  • The Economy’s Global Mission
  • Is Economics Civilization’s Primal Religion?
  • Beyond Our Current Religious Configurations

Praise for the Print Edition

It is daily becoming more clear that consumer capitalism is not just an economic system. It is a fully developed culture and, as Gustafson shows in this skillfully researched book, a full-blown religion. Replete with its own rituals, doctrines, sacraments, and theology, Economics has become the most powerful alternative to Christianity, all the more threatening because few people recognize its spiritual pretensions. No one who reads this extraordinary account will be able to think about religion or economics in the same way again.

Harvey Cox, professor of divinity, Harvard Divinity School

In this intriguing book Scott Gustafson applies a new theological lens to American public life. Religion has always addressed political and economic affairs, but now, as he explains, economics actually is our religion. Gustafson shows that much conventional wisdom about the workings of American society is based on ‘secular’ economic myth and illusion, and he insightfully explores how religion today has put on an economic disguise.

—Robert H. Nelson, professor of environmental policy, University of Maryland

Product Details

  • Title: At the Altar of Wall Street: The Rituals, Myths, Theologies, Sacraments, and Mission of the Religion Known as the Modern Global Economy
  • Author: Scott W. Gustafson
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 232
  • Christian Group: Lutheran
  • Resource Type: Monographs
  • Topic: Ethics

About Scott W. Gustafson

Scott W. Gustafson has served as a seminary professor and a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor for over 30 years and is currently an independent stock-market investor in Herndon, Virginia. He has also written Biblical Amnesia: A Forgotten Story of Redemption and Behind Good and Evil: How to Overcome the Death-Dealing Character of Morality.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition