David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
While there was in general no negative attitude towards interest on loans in the ancient Near Eastern civilizations it was the moral commands of the Hebrew Bible that viewed the concept of interest taking on loans - at least to any member of the community of Israel -- as a morally questionable practice. All of the three legal codes of the Old Testament, the "Code of the Covenant," the "Law of Holiness," and the "Deuteronomic Code," contain a law prohibiting the lending on interest whereby the prohibition in the "Code of the Covenant" in the book of Exodus is generally agreed to be the oldest. This thrice repeated prohibition against lending for interest in the Pentateuch is therefore often regarded as the result of a primitive economic standard and the specific "kinship morality of a tribal society." A closer look at the subject seems to prove this general opinion of most scholars to be a historical myth. In the light of recent historical research the Hebrew condemnation of lending at interest is neither in striking contrast with the traditions of Israel's ancient neighbors nor rested on very different grounds to the ideas of Plato. The Biblical prohibition against lending at interest was formulated by the "Deuteronomic school" as part of an ideal law for a new post-exile "Israel." It was the utopian response to the ethical demands of the prophetic thematization of justice after Israel's economy had entered the stage of early capitalism. Therefore it was not the authors of Deuteronomy, who formulated the prohibition in a stricter way than the traditional "Covenant." It was the authors of Deuteronomy, who were the first to formulate the prohibition, and it was the "Deuteronomistic school," which extended the other codes with a prohibition against lending at interest based on the Deuteronomic Code. The Old Testament anti usury laws are but one of the many utopian ethical demands that had a profound influence on the life and thought of the Western World.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Sid Schwarz (2008). Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World. Jewish Lights Pub..
Constant J. Mews & Ibrahim Abraham (2007). Usury and Just Compensation: Religious and Financial Ethics in Historical Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 72 (1):1 - 15.
Martin Lewison (1999). Conflicts of Interest? The Ethics of Usury. Journal of Business Ethics 22 (4):327 - 339.
Ellen J. Lippman (2008). Biblical Safeguards and Traditions as Potential Guidance for the Lending of Monies. Journal of Business Ethics 78 (1-2):109 - 120.
Alyssa Labat & Walter E. Block (2012). Money Does Not Grow on Trees: An Argument for Usury. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 106 (3):383-387.
Michael Walzer (1992). The Idea of Holy War in Ancient Israel. Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (2):215 - 228.
Simon Ravenscroft (2011). Usury In The Inferno: Auditing Dante's Debt To The Scholastics. Comitatus 42:89-114.
Shyam B. Bhandari (1997). Some Ethical Issues in Computation and Disclosure of Interest Rate and Cost of Credit. Journal of Business Ethics 16 (5):531-535.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads7 ( #173,266 of 1,096,270 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #224,942 of 1,096,270 )
How can I increase my downloads?