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Tiggeri i välfärdsstaten: en teologisk reflektion
Stockholm School of Theology, Department of Theology.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Begging in the Welfare State : A Theological Reflection (English)
Abstract [en]

Begging has engaged many people in Sweden in recent years and the debate has been intense, not least in media. When relatively wealthy people in the welfare state Sweden meet beggars, ethical issues arise. Poverty comes close and becomes more apparent. This paper tries to provide guidance on how each person as an individual could approach various ethical issues that begging gives rise to. The starting point is the potential donor's and not the ethical issues that the beggar wrestles with. The essence of the essay is whether to give money to beggars or not and whether the begging should be banned or not. To highlight the issues, a number of articles have been analyzed that can be considered representative of the debate in Sweden. There are opinion makers in Sweden who argue for a begging bid and who consider that they should not give money to beggars and there are those who believe that a ban is unreasonable and emphasizes the begging as a symptom of a poverty problem that is not solved by prohibition legislation. The different arguments of these opinion makers are compared and analyzed based on a theological perspective where texts from two theologians, one philosopher and a narrative text from the gospels form the starting point. The theologians / philosophers whose ethical approach the essay presents are chosen based on the fact that their thinking is close and has a strong bearing on the essay's question. In his research, Peter Singer has raised poverty alleviation as his main theme, which concerns the issue about begging whose reason is just poverty. He is not a theologian but, in my opinion, enriches the theological perspective. K E Lögstrup is a theologian and, through his ethical theory of the absolute requirement, he can provide an interesting theological perspective on the issue of begging. I will also use narrative text from the Gospel of Luke to highlight the begging issue. Luke's gospel is the book of the New Testament, which most frequently addresses the issue of poverty and the obligations of the rich. Finally, Gustavo Gutiérrez will be treated as representative of liberation theology. The begging issue is much about the power perspective and there the liberation theology has been central in showing that the way we describe reality always assumes a specific context that contains a variety of values that are often assumed to be universal. Simply an analysis of the power perspective needs to be done to make an essay about begging relevant and Gutierrez has a lot to contribute. In this essay I have argued that you do not have a duty to give to all beggars. It is reasonable to make an assessment where the gift is most useful. There may be other purposes where poverty is more acute or apparent and that better needs my gift. It is also reasonable to make an assessment if the beggar is used for criminal activities such as trafficking or prostitution. There are no simple rules for how this should be done, but I mean that it is unethical to give to beggars completely arbitrarily before creating a relationship in order to make a assessment of the individual beggar's situation. That relationship can be created with a few who may be begging in one's neighborhood. At the same time, there is the absolute requirement to take care of our fellow man, who Lögstrup has developed. Over our principles rests an untold, silent requirement that we can not bargain with. The requirement is radical but can not be converted into a universal rule. It might be about giving or not giving money or doing something radically different or not doing anything at all. Every meeting with a beggar is a unique situation that must be judged by the individual at the moment. The requirement calls for listening to God's voice aimed at love and care about the person I meet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 48
Keywords [sv]
tiggeri, tiggeriförbud, Peter Singer, befrielseteologi, Gutiérrez, Lukasevangeliet
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-76OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ths-76DiVA, id: diva2:1194646
Educational program
Master’s Programme in Theology, Systematic Theology, one year
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-04-03 Created: 2018-04-03 Last updated: 2018-04-03Bibliographically approved

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