- Consulting Editors
- The Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Economics
- List of Contributors
- Economics in the Christian Scriptures
- Economics in the Church Fathers
- Voluntary Exchange and Coercion in Scholastic Economics
- Economics and Theology in Italy since the Eighteenth Century
- From the Foundation of Liberal Political Economy to its Critique: Theology and Economics in France in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
- Theology and the Rise of Political Economy in Britain in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
- Economics and Theology in Europe from the Nineteenth Century: From the Early Nineteenth Century’s Christian Political Economy to Modern Catholic Social Doctrine
- Economics and Theology after the Separation
- Roman Catholic Economics
- Eastern Orthodoxy’s Theology of Economics
- Reformed Christian Economics
- Theonomy and Economic Institutions
- Anabaptist Approaches to Economics
- Pentecostal Approaches to Economics
- Interface and Integration in Christian Economics
- Weber, Theology, and Economics
- Economic Religion and Environmental Religion
- Christianity and the Prospects for Development in the Global South
- Faith, Religion, and International Development
- Christianity and the Global Economic Order
- Economic Models of Churches
- The Economics of Religious Schism and Switching
- Spiritual Capital
- Religious Labor Markets
- Behavioral Economics of Religion
- Regulation of Religious Markets
- Economic Justice
- Human Nature, Identity, and Motivation
Abstract and Keywords
Usury has a long and varied history. Originally the term referred to the charging of interest per se—that is, requiring a borrower to repay more than the principal sum borrowed from a lender. Over time borrowing and lending evolved to become an integral part of commercial life, and usury came to refer to the charging of excessive or unconscionable rates of interest on loans. The Christian church no longer opposes the charging of interest, although moral sanctions are upheld against certain exploitative lending practices. Bans on interest are recognized as an ineffective means of protecting the vulnerable, and may even have the opposite effect. Contemporary Islamic societies prohibit predetermined returns on loans, instead favoring profit-sharing arrangements. Islamic banking has grown significantly in recent years, but it is unclear how meaningfully these arrangements differ from Western-style commercial lending.
Ian Harper is a Partner with Deloitte Access Economics Pty Ltd and Emeritus Professor at The University of Melbourne.
Lachlan Smirl is a Director of Deloitte Access Economics Pty Ltd.
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