Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Theology’s Invisible Hand

Daniel K. Finn reviews Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, by enjamin M. Friedman, at Commonweal.

"Friedman borrows the title for this splendid new book from a famous 1926 work by R. H. Tawney. Both an historian and a crusader for social justice, Tawney lamented the loss of moral criteria in humanity’s rush to increase the GDP. Friedman restricts his book to the history of ideas, though these certainly have implications for life more generally.

"The book makes a wonderfully novel claim about the influence of religion on the unreligious genius of Adam Smith. Today, when so many have come to believe the historical error that science developed in opposition to religion, Friedman’s argument is refreshing."

(via Arts & Letters Daily)

See Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, in Great Books of the Western World (first edition, 52 Vol., 1952) volume 39 and (second edition, 60 Vol., 1990) volume 36.

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