Fall 2018

God and Mammon

, 4 pts, GR8174


This colloquium aims to introduce graduate students to the diverse literature on religion and capitalism, with an emphasis on early modern Europe. Readings range from classical sociological literature and major historical monographs to more recent work in heterodox economics. Our discussions will address a number of persistent questions in the field, both methodological and empirical: (1) How have historians, sociologists, and philosophers characterized the relationship between God and Mammon, between religious and economic life? (2) What is the nature of this relationship (unidirectional causality, mutual constitution, supersession, etc.)? (3) How have explanatory possibilities been brought to bear in scholarship on different periods, and for different traditions (Christianity and Judaism, Catholicism and Protestantism, Jansenism and devout humanism, Calvinism and Anglicanism, etc.)? (4) How should one approach religious institutions in light of the massive wealth at their disposal? (5) To what extent have theological categories and economic axioms informed each other over time, and under what political and cultural conditions?

Section Number
Call Number
Day, Time & Location
R 10:10am-12:00pm 401 Hamilton Hall
Charly J Coleman