In 1982, John M. Perkins wrote With Justice for All: A Strategy for Community Development. In this seminal work which paved the way for Christian community development, Perkins reminds us that poverty is much more than just a lack of money but it is indeed a lack of options. Perkins also reminded us that we indeed have a hope. He states, “To correct economic injustice, we must pursue a strategy of development – empowering people to become self-sufficient through the power of the gospel.” In fact, Perkins and his work pioneered the way for the Christian Community Development Association. CCDA and it’s ideologies are based on Perkins understanding of Redistribution, Relocation, and Reconciliation. Perkins, and many since, have sought after a just distribution of resources, living among the people, and bringing people back to God and one another. Perkins understands that true reconciliation also involves economic justice. He continually advocates for black Americans to have genuine access to the land, education, and capital that will really allow them to create wealth and bring economic independence for themselves and their families.
In 1957, Karl Polanyi wrote The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. Polanyi’s work received slow recognition however by the time he passed away in 1964, he was celebrated as the father of neoliberalism. Polanyi spends many chapters bringing forward complex and at times contradictory arguments, which gives the reader credence to derive very different interpretations of the same work. Part of the reasoning for this complication is actually due to the shift in location during the writing of this book, which lead to some dramatic shifts in his thinking. Despite some of it’s stark contradictions, Polanyi’s theory of the always-embedded market economy has made one of social science’s most significant contributions.
As I was struggling through Polanyi’s very challenging work, I was struck by his theory that the economy of the people, as a rule, is “submerged in social relationships.” In fact, he goes on to claim that the processes of production nor distribution has anything to do with economic interests tied to things, but production and distribution is more closely linked with social interest. He asks, “But how, then, is order in production and distribution ensured?” Polanyi argues that it is not be economics at all, but by reciprocity and redistribution. He defines reciprocity as the organization of a society through gender, family, and kinship and redistribution is for most effective for all those who are under a common chief and are located in the same area. He goes on to further define reciprocity and redistribution by using an pattern of symmetry and centricity.
I cannot help but link reciprocity and redistribution of Polanyi with Perkins redistribution, relocation, and reconciliation. Both men are striving to create a society that understands an economic order and a societal equality that is based in social relationships. I wonder if maybe they are just two sides of the same coin?
 John M. Perkins, With Justice for All: A Strategy for Community Development. Baker Books, 2011, ix.
 “CCDA Philosophy”, Christian Community Development Association, January 24, 2019, https://ccda.org/about/philosophy/
 Peter Slade, Charles Marsh, and Peter Heltzel, Mobilizing for the Common Good the Lived Theology of John M. Perkins. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2013, xi.
 Ibid., xi.
 Karl Polanyi. The Great Transformation the Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. 2nd Beacon Paperback ed. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2001., Loc. 323
 Fred L. Block., and Margaret R. Somers. The Power of Market Fundamentalism. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2014. https://georgefox.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=780346&scope=site., 73.
 Ibid., 73.
 Ibid., 96.
 Karl Polanyi. The Great Transformation the Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. 2nd Beacon Paperback ed. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2001, 47.
 Ibid., 49.
 Ibid., 49.
 Ibid, 50.