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St Paul’s ‘What Money Can’t Buy’ debate moves up a gear

St Paul's Institute will announce an initiative at today's public debate with Michael Sandel to take the debate beyond the doors of the Cathedral.

Today (23 May), St Paul's Institute, the London School of Economics and Political Science, JustShare and Penguin UK are holding a public debate with noted public philosopher and Harvard professor Michael Sandel on the subject of his new book, What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets.

This debate is being held within St Paul's Cathedral in order to explore the intersection of faith, morality and markets and the power that money has in our lives. Interest has been intense, with 1,800 tickets registered, and it is anticipated that the Cathedral will be full.

But the debate is too important to stop at the doors of the Cathedral.Following the event, St Paul’s Institute will be seeking views from 100 well-known figures from across British public life, including the leaders of the mainpolitical parties,on two key questions raised in the debate:

What things do you think money can't buy and, if you can't buy them, how can you get them?
What are the most important things you think money can buy, but shouldn't?

The responses received will be published later in the summer.

At the same time, the Institute is providing a chance for people to comment on its website, through which those who came to the debate and the public at large can express their views.


Speaking of the initiative on behalf of St Paul’s Institute, Bishop Peter Selby said: "In all the endless discussion of currency, money, and markets we somehow always avoid the issue. Michael Sandel’s book is a great opportunity to ask the deepest questions about the place of money in our lives – and where better to face those questions than in St Paul’s Cathedral? This debate is what has been at the centre of the Institute’s vision all along.”

Michael Sandel said: "A market economy is a tool - a valuable and effective tool - for organising productive activity. A market society is a way of life in which market values seep into every aspect of human endeavour. It is a place where social relations are made over in the image of the market. The great missing debate is about the role and reach of the market.I am delighted that St Paul's Institute is seeking to foster just this debate."