Origins, Spirit and Betrayal of the Market Economy
Drawing on debates about the religious nature and origins of contemporary European capitalism, this book argues for a distinction between a Northern/Protestant and a Southern/Catholic spirit of capitalism. The first part of the book explores the history of the relationship between capitalism and Christianity. Going back much further than Weber’s “protestant ethic” arguments, it looks at the early centuries of Christianity from the gospels to Augustine and follows the story through the Middle Ages – with special attention devoted to the role of Monasticism and Franciscanism – to modernity. The second part of the book analyses the origin of the “southern spirit of capitalism: before and after Luther and the Calvinist Reformation. It highlights the key features which demonstrate that the Catholic spirit of capitalism is, in fact, different from the Anglo-Saxon spirit. This book will be of interest to readers in history of economic thought, history of capitalism, economic ethics and religious history.
Luigino Bruni is Full Professor in Political Economy, Department of Law, Economics, Politics and Modern Languages, University LUMSA, Rome, Italy.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction. At the beginning … Chapter 2. The Economy and the Civilization of Monasticism Chapter 3. Francesco’s Economy Chapter 4. Some MiddleAge issues Chapter 5. Luther, the Reformation and the Modern Spirit of Capitalism Chapter 6. Jansenism and anthropological pessimism in the birth of Political Economy Chapter 7. The Economic Spirit of the North Chapter 8. The Spirit of the South: Civil Economy Chapter 9. The Economics of anti-modernity: the case of Giuseppe Toniolo Conclusion