Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe

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Cornell University Press, 1983 - History - 267 pages

"In this stimulating and important book Lester Little advances the original thesis that, paradoxically, it was the leading practitioners of voluntary poverty, Franciscan and Dominican friars, who finally formulated a Christian ethic which justified the activities of merchants, moneylenders, and other urban professionals, and created a Christian spirituality suitable for townsmen. Little has synthesized a vast body of specialized literature in Italian, German, French, and English to write an interpretive essay which provides a new perspective on the interaction between economic and social forces and the religious movements advocating the apostolic ideal of voluntary poverty...Little's book is a major contribution, not only to the history of the religious movement of voluntary poverty, but also to the interdisciplinary study of the middle ages." ?Journal of Social History

 

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Contents

From gift economy to profit economy
3
Adapting to the profit economy
19
The Jews in Christian Europe
42
The old order
61
The new Egypt
70
The new monastery
84
The regular canons
99
The Humiliati Waldensians Beguines and Cathars
113
Scholastic social thought
173
A reformed apostolate
184
Urban religious life
197
Conclusion
218
Index
229
173
247
184
254
218
263

The Franciscans and Dominicans
146

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About the author (1983)

Lester K. Little is Dwight W. Morrow Professor of History at Smith College. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Religious Poverty and the Profit Economy in Medieval Europe, also from Cornell.

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