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On Commerce and Usury (1524)

Martin Luther, edited with an introduction and notes by Philipp Robinson Rössner
 

On Commerce and Usury (1524)

A revised translation of Martin Luther’s most important economic pamphlet with extended critical introduction and notes

Imprint: Anthem Press
Hardback
ISBN 9781783083855
September 2015 | 240 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6
 
PRICE:  £60.00  /  $99.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781783083855

About This Book

‘In his deeply erudite introduction, Philipp Rössner offers a vivid contextualization of Luther’s thinking on how commerce should be managed in order to promote a proper Christian society. Rössner not only explores Luther’s ideas on commerce and ethics from the point of view of modern economics, but he uses Luther’s perspective as a critical lens through which he examines, with great nuance and clarity, the state of economic reasoning today.’ —Carl Wennerlind, Columbia University

‘Luther’s On Commerce and Usury is much more than a sermon. It is a powerful reminder that markets are human constructs and depend on rules for their existence and operation. This inconvenient truth deserves reflection, as Philipp Rössner demonstrates in his fascinating essay. By delving into the context and meaning of a sixteenth-century classic, he speaks to the present.’ —Francesco Boldizzoni, University of Turin

This volume presents Martin Luther’s contribution to the modern economic sciences, providing a detailed introduction and revised translation of his major pamphlet on economic matters, ‘On Commerce and Usury’ (‘Von Kaufshandlung und Wucher’, 1524). In his teachings on indulgences, Luther picked up on the question of hoarding money, and was among the earliest voices in early modern Europe calling for an ‘ethical’ economics. Luther‘s work prefigured many later contributions to modern economic theory, from the mercantilists and cameralists to the German Historical School.

Readership: This volume will be of interest to historians, economists and others in the social sciences studying the history of political economy, economic development, ethics in economics and the economic origins of Martin Luther’s Reformation (1517).

Author Information

Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German friar, priest and professor of theology who was a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Philipp Robinson Rössner is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Early Modern History at the University of Manchester.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; CRITICAL INTRODUCTION: 1. Approaching Luther; 2. Contextualizing Luther: The Powers of Time and Space; 3. Luther: Impulsive Economics; 4. The Grip of the Dead Hand: Crisis Economics for a Pre-Industrial Society? 5. Von Kaufshandlung und Wucher (1524): Analytical Summary; 6. Conclusion: What Can We Learn from Luther Today?; ON COMMERCE AND USURY (1524): Notes on the Text; On Commerce and Usury; Bibliography; Index

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