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Faith and Wealth: A History of Early Christian Ideas on the Origin, Significance, and Use of Money

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Textbook Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-04-01
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Purchase Benefits
List Price: $27.00


Ideas pertaining to economics and social order were central concerns of the early Christian church, yet modern theologians and scholars have paid little or no attention to these issues as important theological questions. This brilliant and thorough study is a history of the views that Christians held of the origin, significance and use of wealth. Justo Gonzalez examines early Christian ideas, beliefs and teachings about the use of money, property, communal sharing and the rights and obligations of rich and poor.Setting the Christian community in the political, social and economic contexts of the times, Gonzalez highlights the ideas of such prominent writers as Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, John Chrysostom, and the Desert Fathers concerning wealth -- noting what traditional scholarship has overlooked. As the author points out, this book is not a social or economic history of Christianity during the first four centuries; it is a history of the views that Christians held on economic matters.This profound, enlightening and highly readable work of excellent scholarship is a major contribution to the study of the history of Christian thought. It clearly demonstrates that the issues of economics and social justice are central theological concerns, deeply rooted in Christian doctrine and Christian tradition.

Author Biography

Justo L. Gonzalez, a United Methodist minister born in Cuba, is a retired member of the Rio Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church. After his basic college and seminary education in Cuba, he studied at Yale University, where he obtained three degrees: S.T.M. (1958), M.A. (1960), Ph.D. (1961). In 1961, he joined the faculty of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, teaching historical theology, and in 1969 he moved to Atlanta, where he now resides, in order to teach at Candler School of Theology (Emory University). Since 1977 he has been engaged in two main occupations: writing and promoting the theological education of Latinas and Latinos

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Abbreviationsp. viii
Introductionp. xi
The Wisdom of the Ancientsp. 3
The Greeksp. 3
The Romansp. 14
The Jewsp. 19
The Roman Economyp. 28
Agriculturep. 28
Industryp. 33
Tradep. 35
Taxationp. 36
A View from Abovep. 39
A Different Viewp. 42
The Crisis of the Third Centuryp. 51
The Reforms of Diocletianp. 57
Constantine and Afterp. 61
Before Constantine
The New Testament Koinoniap. 71
The Settingp. 72
From the Jesus Movement to the First Urban Churchesp. 75
The Growth of the Urban Communitiesp. 78
The Meaning of Koinoniap. 79
The Later Books of the New Testamentp. 86
The Subapostolic Churchp. 92
The Didachep. 92
Pseudo-Barnabasp. 95
The Epistle to Diognetusp. 95
Hermasp. 96
Other Apostolic Fathersp. 100
The Apologistsp. 102
The Old Catholic Churchp. 106
Irenaeusp. 108
Clement of Alexandriap. 112
Origenp. 118
Tertullianp. 119
Hippolytusp. 122
Cyprianp. 124
Preparing the Way for Constantinep. 132
An Evolving Situationp. 132
Lactantiusp. 134
Other Currentsp. 142
Constantine and Beyond
The Church Under the New Orderp. 149
The New Orderp. 149
Donatist Resistancep. 156
The Flight to the Desertp. 161
The Disillusionment of Athanasiusp. 166
The Cappadociansp. 173
Ambrose and Jeromep. 187
Ambrosep. 187
Jeromep. 193
Other Western Theologiansp. 196
John Chrysostomp. 200
Augustinep. 214
Retrospectp. 225
Common Viewsp. 225
Significant Developmentsp. 229
Further Questionsp. 230
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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