The visible public commitment of the Franciscans to poverty provided to the laity a sharp contrast to the wealth and power of the Church, provoking "awkward questions". Widespread corruption led to calls for reform which called into question the interdependent relationship of church and state power. Usury originally was the charging of interest on loans ; this included charging a fee for the use of money, such as at a bureau de change. In places where interest became acceptable, usury was interest above the rate allowed by law.
Today, usury commonly is the charging of unreasonable or relatively high rates of interest. The first of the scholastics, Saint Anselm of Canterbury , led the shift in thought that labeled charging interest the same as theft. Previously usury had been seen as a lack of charity. Thomas Aquinas , the leading theologian of the Catholic Church, argued charging of interest is wrong because it amounts to "double charging", charging for both the thing and the use of the thing.
This did not, as some think, prevent investment. What it stipulated was that in order for the investor to share in the profit he must share the risk. In short he must be a joint-venturer. Simply to invest the money and expect it to be returned regardless of the success of the venture was to make money simply by having money and not by taking any risk or by doing any work or by any effort or sacrifice at all.
This is usury. St Thomas quotes Aristotle as saying that "to live by usury is exceedingly unnatural". St Thomas allows, however, charges for actual services provided. Thus a banker or credit-lender could charge for such actual work or effort as he did carry out e. The rising capitalistic middle class resented the drain of their wealth to the church; in northern Europe, they supported local reformers against the corruption, rapacity and venality which they viewed as originating in Rome.
One school of thought attributes Calvinism with setting the stage for the later development of capitalism in northern Europe. In this view, elements of Calvinism represented a revolt against the medieval condemnation of usury and, implicitly, of profit in general. Tawney — and by Max Weber — Calvin criticized the use of certain passages of scripture invoked by people opposed to the charging of interest.
He reinterpreted some of these passages, and suggested that others of them had been rendered irrelevant by changed conditions. He also dismissed the argument based upon the writings of Aristotle that it is wrong to charge interest for money because money itself is barren. He said that the walls and the roof of a house are barren, too, but it is permissible to charge someone for allowing him to use them.
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In the same way, money can be made fruitful. For Puritans , work was not simply arduous drudgery required to sustain life. Joseph Conforti describes the Puritan attitude toward work as taking on "the character of a vocation — a calling through which one improved the world, redeemed time, glorified God, and followed life's pilgrimage toward salvation.
In two journal articles published in —05, German sociologist Max Weber propounded a thesis that Reformed i. The English translation of these articles were published in book form in as The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber argued that capitalism in northern Europe evolved because the Protestant particularly Calvinist ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant work ethic was a force behind an unplanned and uncoordinated mass action that influenced the development of capitalism.
Weber's work focused scholars on the question of the uniqueness of Western civilization and the nature of its economic and social development. Scholars have sought to explain the fact that economic growth has been much more rapid in Northern and Western Europe and its overseas offshoots than in other parts of the world including those that where the Catholic and Orthodox churches have been dominant over Protestantism. Some have observed that explosive economic growth occurred at roughly the same time, or soon after, these areas experienced the rise of Protestant religions.
Stanley Engerman asserts that, although some scholars may argue that the two phenomena are unrelated, many would find it difficult to accept such a thesis. John Chamberlain wrote that "Christianity tends to lead to a capitalistic mode of life whenever siege conditions do not prevail Rodney Stark propounds the theory that Christian rationality is the primary driver behind the success of capitalism and the Rise of the West.
John B. Cobb argues that the "economism that rules the West and through it much of the East" is directly opposed to traditional Christian doctrine. Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights , and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.
Thomas Aquinas and given further exposure in by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. Ryan , who initiated the concept of a living wage. Father Coughlin also used the term in his publications in the s and the s. It is a part of Catholic social teaching , Social Gospel from Episcopalians and is one of the Four Pillars of the Green Party upheld by green parties worldwide. Social justice as a secular concept, distinct from religious teachings, emerged mainly in the late twentieth century, influenced primarily by philosopher John Rawls. Some tenets of social justice have been adopted by those on the left of the political spectrum.
According to Kent Van Til, the view that wealth has been taken from the poor by the rich implies that the redistribution of that wealth is more a matter of restitution than of theft. Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of poverty and wealth , economics , social organization and the role of the state. Its foundations are widely considered to have been laid by Pope Leo XIII's encyclical letter Rerum novarum , which advocated economic distributism and condemned socialism.
According to Pope Benedict XVI , its purpose "is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just…. Catholic social teaching is distinctive in its consistent critiques of modern social and political ideologies both of the left and of the right: liberalism , communism , socialism , libertarianism , capitalism ,  Fascism , and Nazism have all been condemned, at least in their pure forms, by several popes since the late nineteenth century. Irving Kristol posits that one reason that those who are "experiencing a Christian impulse, an impulse toward the imitatio Christi , would lean toward socialism Arnold Toynbee characterized Communist ideology as a "Christian heresy" in the sense that it focused on a few elements of the faith to the exclusion of the others.
Tragically, said King, Communist regimes created "new classes and a new lexicon of injustice. Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology and the doctrine of the social gospel. The Rerum novarum encyclical of Leo XIII was the starting point of a Catholic doctrine on social questions that has been expanded and updated over the course of the 20th century.
Despite the introduction of social thought as an object of religious thought, Rerum novarum explicitly rejects what it calls "the main tenet of socialism":. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. The encyclical promotes a kind of corporatism based on social solidarity among the classes with respects for the needs and rights of all.
So far she has failed, but I think that Socialism shows her how she may succeed. It insists that men cannot be made right until the material conditions be made right. Although man cannot live by bread alone, he must have bread. Therefore the Church must destroy a system of society which inevitably creates and perpetuates unequal and unfair conditions of life.
These unequal and unfair conditions have been created by competition. Therefore competition must cease and cooperation take its place. Despite the explicit rejection of Socialism, in the more Catholic countries of Europe the encyclical's teaching was the inspiration that led to the formation of new Christian-inspired Socialist parties. A number of Christian socialist movements and political parties throughout the world group themselves into the International League of Religious Socialists. It has member organizations in 21 countries representing , members. Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the egalitarian and anti-establishment message of Jesus , who—according to the Gospel —spoke against the religious authorities of his time, and the egalitarian, anti-establishment, and sometimes anti-clerical message of most contemporary socialisms.
Some Christian Socialists have become active Communists. This phenomenon was most common among missionaries in China , the most notable being James Gareth Endicott , who became supportive of the struggle of the Communist Party of China in the s and s. Michael Moore 's film Capitalism: A Love Story also features a religious component where Moore examines whether or not capitalism is a sin and whether Jesus would be a capitalist,  in order to shine light on the ideological contradictions among evangelical conservatives who support free market ideals. Liberation theology  is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions.
It has been described by proponents as "an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor's suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor",  and by detractors as Christianized Marxism. Liberation theology arose principally as a moral reaction to the poverty caused by social injustice in that region. The influence of liberation theology within the Catholic Church diminished after proponents using Marxist concepts were admonished by the Vatican 's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith CDF in and The Vatican criticized certain strains of liberation theology — without actually identifying any particular strain — for focusing on institutional dimensions of sin to the exclusion of the individual; and for allegedly misidentifying the church hierarchy as members of the privileged class.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Further information: Jewish views of poverty, wealth and charity. Further information: Apostolic poverty.
Main article: Usury. Main article: Social justice. Main article: Catholic social teaching. Main article: Christian socialism. Main article: Liberation theology. Archived from the original on September 6, Retrieved Companion encyclopedia of theology.
Somerset Hall Press. Mind vs. Transaction Publishers. Which Is Voluntary Poverty". The Catholic Worker. Archived from the original on May 11, Retrieved October 5, Orbis Books. At its deepest level voluntary poverty is a way of seeing the world and the things of the world.
Does God Want You to be Rich?
And we are clearly instructed that 'you can not serve God and Mammon'. The Encyclopedia Of Christianity. Eerdmans Publishing. Retrieved 18 June Introducing Christian Ethics. John Wiley and Sons. Psychology Press. The World of the early Christians. Liturgical Press. A companion to business ethics. Neoconservatism: the autobiography of an idea. Simon and Schuster.
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A Study of History. The Communist ideology was a Christian heresy in the sense that it had singled out several elements in Christianity and had concentrated on these to the exclusion of the rest. It had taken from Christianity its social ideals, its intolerance and its fervour. The West in Russia and China: Russia, — New Living Translation As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.
English Standard Version By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, Berean Study Bible Because of the proof this ministry provides, the saints will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to all the others.
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Berean Literal Bible through the proof of this service, glorifying God at your submission of confession to the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of the participation toward them and toward all. New American Standard Bible Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, King James Bible Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men ; Christian Standard Bible Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone.
Contemporary English Version The way in which you have proved yourselves by this service will bring honor and praise to God. You believed the message about Christ, and you obeyed it by sharing generously with God's people and with everyone else. Good News Translation And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.
Holman Christian Standard Bible They will glorify God for your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with others through the proof provided by this service. International Standard Version Because your service in giving proves your love, you will be glorifying God as you obey what your confession of the Messiah's gospel demands, since you are generous in sharing with them and with everyone else. NET Bible Through the evidence of this service they will glorify God because of your obedience to your confession in the gospel of Christ and the generosity of your sharing with them and with everyone.
New Heart English Bible seeing that through the proof given by this service, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the Good News of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all; Aramaic Bible in Plain English For because of the experience of this service, they glorify God that you submitted to the confession of The Gospel of The Messiah, and you became partners in your right of heirship with them and with every person.
Matthew When the crowds saw this, they were filled with awe and glorified God, who had given such authority to men. Romans if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is giving, let him give generously; if it is leading, let him lead with diligence; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.