Idols of Nations: Biblical Myth at the Origins of Capitalism

Idols of Nations: Biblical Myth at the Origins of Capitalism


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Roland Boer and Christina Petterson here produce a critical survey showing that the rise of capitalist theory was shaped by the way different economic philosophersSmith, Hobbes, Grotius, Malthus, Lockeread the Bible. Invoking Jeremiah (14:22) and Adam Smithwho took the title of his Wealth of Nations from Isaiah (61:6; 66:12)they show that early theories of capitalism were shaped by particular assumptions that these theorists brought to their readings of the story of Eden in particular. They examine those assumptions and evaluate what has changed in subsequent centuries.

Idols of Nations shows that the Bible was central to the theorization and economic thought of these key thinkers as it explores the distinct problems each sought to overcome.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451465440
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Pages: 207
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Roland Boer is Xin Ao Professor of Literature at Renmin University of China and research professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Among many publications, including Marxist Criticism of the Bible (2003) and Rescuing the Bible (2009), his most recent are Lenin, Religion, and Theology(2013) and In the Vale of Tears: On Marxism and Theology V(2014).Christina Petterson is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She is the author ofActs of Empire: The Acts of the Apostles and Imperial Ideology (2012) andThe Missionary, the Catechist,and the Hunter:Foucault, Protestantism, and Colonialism (2014).

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction 1

1 Hugo Grotius: Rewriting the Narrative of the Fall 9

2 John Locke and the Trouble with Adam 47

3 Adam Smith the Storyteller 87

4 The Lust and Hunger of the Thomas Malthus 131

Conclusion 167

Bibliography 179

Index 193

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