KUALA LUMPUR: A book on greed's hold on the world economy and how religion can stop it will be hitting Malaysian bookshelves soon.
Entitled Subverting Greed: Religious Perspectives on the Global Economy, it argues that greed is to blame for many of the world's economic troubles.
At its launch yesterday, International Movement for a Just World (JUST)president Dr Chandra Muzaffar said: “We know that the cause of the sub-prime crisis in the United States and the global financial crisis was greed.”
Dr Chandra, who co-edited the title, said the book had essays from scholars and their thoughts on religion's role in modern economics.
These scholars include Chair of the United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery Swami Agnivesh, Japanese Zen Buddhism (Sanbo Kyodan) teacher David R. Loy and National University of Singapore (Department of Chinese Studies) Professor Zhou Qin.
The launch was also attended by local religious leaders, including former Fatwa Council chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim, Malaysia Hindu Sangam vice-president Dr R. Rupa Saminathan, Chief High Priest (Buddhist) of Malaysia Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana and Archbishop of Kuala LumpurTan Sri Datuk Murphy Pakiam.
Zubedy M Sdn Bhd managing director Anas Zubedy, who published the book, said it takes a good look at how an economy can prosper from religion.
“The book has deep ideas on how our different religions organise economy with a win-win approach both for profit and social justice,” he said.
Dr Chandra admitted that while religions warn against greed, there are some leaders who do not practise what they preach.
“The religious and non-religious can be greedy and selfish. It is a reflection of our human failings, and with religious teachings, we need to remind people of this wrongdoing,” he said.
The book, Dr Chandra said, was originally released in the United States in 2002 but distributing rights issues prevented the title from being released here until this year.
The 193-page book costs RM44.90. Details on bookstore releases will be made available in the near future.