A little more on usury and the sexuality debate

I’ve just been trying to find out a little more about how it was that the Christian view on charging interest came to change so radically between the medieval period and the Enlightenment. Things are a little murky, but several online articles, including this one, seem to lay the blame at Calvin’s door. The main plank of his argument appears to have been the difference in conditions between the times and culture of ancient Israel and that of sixteenth century Europe.

Well, knock me down with a feather! I need to check this out, because if this is true then it sheds quite a different light on the current sexuality debates that are rocking the Anglican Communion. It rather begs the question as to what makes the difference between financial sins, in which social differences make definition changes OK, and sexual ones, which many seem to want to see as set in stone? Hmmm.

Can anyone point me in the direction of any recent work on this?

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2 thoughts on “A little more on usury and the sexuality debate

  1. Thank you for this bit of thinking aloud. I suppose that the Reformation move to state-control of religion influenced by early-modern nationalism and theological Erastainism combined with mercantilism could create the climate where the church quietly stops listing usury among the sins. As far as I know, very few explicitly supported this move. As you say, declaring biblical condemnations of usury only to apply to their time, begs the question for the ever popular sexual condemnations.

    Not entirely on topic, I found the animated films of Paul Grignon campaigning for monetary reform useful. I wrote about them, and linked to them, at http://christhum.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/money-as-debt/.

    • Thank you for your comment Gareth. I’m sorry it took a little longer than usual to approve it. I’m currently visiting family and finding it harder than usual to find time to attend to the blog (though it is yielding some material for future posts). Haven’t yet been able to follow up on the Grignon films and your own post but I look forward to doing so soon.

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