Academic journal article Parergon

The Idea of a Moral Economy: Gerard of Siena on Usury, Restitution, and Prescription

Academic journal article Parergon

The Idea of a Moral Economy: Gerard of Siena on Usury, Restitution, and Prescription

Article excerpt

Armstrong, Lawrin, The Idea of a Moral Economy: Gerard of Siena on Usury, Restitution, and Prescription (Toronto Studies in Medieval Law), Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2016; cloth; pp. 344; R.R.P. CA$75.00; ISBN 9781442643222.

This is a valuable transcription of the scarce manuscripts of Gerard of Siena's contributions to theological and legal debate about usury with a very acceptable straightforward, if not always totally precise, and intelligible translation of the original Latin. The structure of the volume makes the medieval approach to argument and its basic, unchallenged theories of natural law, positive law, canon and civil law clear. Given the massive historiography on medieval ideas about what we call (but they did not) the economy, original material added must be judged on the extent to which it adds to our understanding of both the medieval approach and its underlying beliefs. This work does both.

Produced in the period of economic instability after the 2008 collapse it is also unexpectedly part of a current academic discussion on the problems of material inequality in which medieval ideas on the priority of the common good rather than private profit have developed an immediate relevance. …

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