"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

On Hoarding and Saving

A forthcoming study puts me in mind of an interview I did with Brenda Llewellyn Ihssen about her book They Who Give from Evil: The Response of the Eastern Church to Moneylending in the Early Christian Era, which treats how the Greek Fathers viewed questions of money, possession, usury, and related social teachings.

This new study, Managing Financial Resources in Late Antiquity: Greek Fathers' Views on Hoarding and Saving, is co-authored by Gerasimos Merianos and George Gotsis (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 256pp.

About this book we are told by the publisher:
This book examines the views of Greek Church Fathers on hoarding, saving, and management of economic surplus, and their development primarily in urban centres of the Eastern Mediterranean, from the late first to the fifth century. The study shows how the approaches of Greek Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Basil of Caesarea, John Chrysostom, Isidore of Pelusium, and Theodoret of Cyrrhus, to hoarding and saving intertwined with stances toward the moral and social obligations of the wealthy. It also demonstrates how these Fathers responded to conditions and practices in urban economic environments characterized by sharp inequalities. Their attitudes reflect the gradual widening of Christian congregations, but also the consequences of the socio-economic evolution of the late antique Eastern Roman Empire. Among the issues discussed in the book are the justification of wealth, alternatives to hoarding, and the reception of patristic views by contemporaries.

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