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The morality of money, discussed at St Paul's

Last night (23 May), a debate with Harvard professor Michael Sandel was held on the cathedral floor, entitled What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets.

The response to the event was outstanding, with over 1,800 people filling the Cathedral to capacity to take part in an evening of discussion and debate on the question of ‘what money can’t buy’. The audiencewas visibly attentive throughout the discussion between Michael Sandel, Bishop Peter Selby, Julian Le Grand and Stephanie Flanders; with questions and comments coming in from the floor and plenty of debate between the speakers on the panel.

This debate comes at an important moment, as attention to markets and their role in shaping our lives and social relationships continues to intensify – from the leaders of the Eurozone countries dealing with macroeconomic concerns to individuals confronting the fallout from continuing economic instability, as demonstrated by the recent Occupy protests.

Michael Sandel ended the evening’s discussion by saying that we need a "morally more robust public discourse” and that "to renew public life we need to exercise [our] civic virtues more strenuously.

The debate does not stop there; St Paul’s Institute is also now running an ongoing initiative to make sure that the debate - the public discourse - continues. You can join the debate and find out more here.

For more insight into the content of the evening, you can download our PDF of the Twitter stream #moralmarkets that was being used throughout the evening.