Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 May 2020

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.

Keywords: interdisciplinary, economics, theology, religion, Christianity, usury, interest, Islamic banking

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.