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Riba - Usury then and now

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The usurer on Staff and Scrip, Dr John Dunn First posted on Saturday, 2 June 2012 at 12:18

The Usurer from Basel's dance of death by Jacques-Antony Chovin.

Imran Hosein,who lectures amongst other things on how the current world financial crisis is at heart one of usury, asks us to consider the world-changing enormity of the moral shift from one in which money-lending was loathed as evil, to a situation in which bankers just about rule the planet. He recommends reading Religion and the Rise of Capitalism by RH Tawney, for a brilliant summary of the retreat of religion.

Tawney explains that in medieval Europe there were degrees of acceptably in economic activity. Labour - the common lot of mankind - was deemed to be necessary and honourable. Trade was thought necessary, but perilous to the soul. Finance, if not immoral, was considered to be, at best sordid and, at worst, disreputable.

John Dunn.

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