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Religion and Finance

Comparing the Approaches of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Mervyn K. Lewis, Emeritus Professor, University of South Australia, Adelaide and Emeritus Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and Ahmad Kaleem, School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Melbourne Campus, Australia
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all impose obligations and constraints upon the rightful use of wealth and earthly resources. All three of these religions have well-researched views on the acceptability of practices such as usury but the principles and practices of other, non-interest, financial instruments are less well known. This book examines each of these three major world faiths, considering their teachings, social precepts and economic frameworks, which are set out as a guide for the financial dealings and economic behaviour of their adherents.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $130.00 Web: $117.00
Publication Date: 2019
ISBN: 978 0 85793 902 9
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  • Asian Studies
  • Asian Economics
  • Economics and Finance
  • Asian Economics
  • Financial Economics and Regulation
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Islamic Economics and Finance
  • Money and Banking
  • Law - Academic
  • Finance and Banking Law
  • Law and Society
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all impose obligations and constraints upon the rightful use of wealth and earthly resources. All three of these religions have well-researched views on the acceptability of practices such as usury but the principles and practices of other, non-interest, financial instruments are less well known. This book examines each of these three major world faiths, considering their teachings, social precepts and economic frameworks, which are set out as a guide for the financial dealings and economic behaviour of their adherents.

Religion and Finance explores the histories, denominational compositions and fundamental beliefs of each of the three religions and examines a host of key issues surrounding their relationship to finance. Consideration is given to the development of generally disfavoured practices such as usury, and the various instruments of sales-based debt, partnerships and equity-based financial practices allowed by these religions are examined, alongside a discussion of their socio-economic teachings and traditions.

This well-written, well-constructed analysis of the financial thought of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, with its insightful analysis of key financial instruments and economic practices, will be an invaluable book for anyone who is interested in, or studying, the three major Abrahamic religions and their financial practices and philosophies.
‘This account of the teachings of the three Abrahamic religions on finance sheds fresh light on the distinctive approach of each. The comparative approach provides valuable insights on the reasons for the condemnation of usurious interest and the moral challenges of contemporary equity and debt-based finance. The study should be essential reading for ministers of religion wanting to deepen their understanding of financial matters, as well as theological and law students concerned with the interface between secular and religious law.’
– Rodney Wilson, Emeritus Professor, ​Durham University​, UK
Contents: Preface 1. Defining the issues in religion and finance 2. The three Abrahamic religions 3. Attitudes of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to usury 4. Social policy in the Abrahamic religions 5. Economic framework of the Abrahamic religions 6. What the Abrahamic religions say about contemporary financial practices 7. Partnership based equity instruments 8. Sale based debt instruments 9. The future of interest-free financing 10. Conclusion References Index