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God's fund managers: A critical study of stock market investment practices of the Church of England and UK Methodists

Niklas Kreander (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)
Ken McPhail (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)
David Molyneaux (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Aberdeen Business School, Aberdeen, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 1 July 2004

Abstract

While the literature contains a number of studies of ethical investment funds, relatively little is known about church investment processes and practices despite the significant role they have played in the development of the sector. This paper attempts to address this lacuna by studying the ethical investment programmes of two UK churches: the Methodist Church and the Church of England. The paper initially explores the relationship between the Judaeo‐Christian church and the development of the ethical investment movement. This history reveals an engagement both at the institutional and individual level that challenges the assumed sacred secular divide now commonplace within the literature and the more recent guardian‐advocate dichotomy. Second, the paper delineates the way in which the churches theologically conceptualise this engagement and describes how these values are proceduralised through the operation of the funds. The final section provides an immanent critique of church investments both at a performative and theological level. The aim of this concluding section is to engage with the churches in exploring the broader potential for the church in effecting social change.

Keywords

Citation

Kreander, N., McPhail, K. and Molyneaux, D. (2004), "God's fund managers: A critical study of stock market investment practices of the Church of England and UK Methodists", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 408-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513570410545803

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited