Christians on Usury

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  • Created by: Lina
  • Created on: 04-04-14 15:05
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  • Christians on Usury
    • For
      • The NT doesn't forbid chraging interest. Contains references to usury, but is unclear if Jesus is saying usury is wrong- not forbidden by him
        • The Parable of the 10 Minas
      • Aquinas allows charges for actual services provided, e.g. bank services
      • A way of charities providing loans to poor communities- sustainable because of some interest-> can continue to give out loans for longer-> benefits everyone
    • Against
      • Charging of interest is forbidden by the OT
        • Exodus 22:25- If you lend money to the one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it as a business deal, charge no interest
        • Leviticus 25:37: You must not lend money at interest or sell them food at a profit
      • Aquinas quotes Aristotle as saying that "to live by usury is exceedingly unnatural"
      • Unreasonable and irrational
        • St. Anselm
          • The first of the scholastics to lead the shift in thought that charging interest is theft
        • St. Thomas Aquinas
          • Leading theologian of the RC Church
          • 1) Wrong- "double- charging"+ bottle of wine example
          • 2) Selling for the time that the money is in the hands of the borrower-> no one can sell time
      • Not charging interest teaches a spiritual lesson- in ancient Israel the Law prohibited usury on a category of loans- those made to the poor (Leviticus 25:37) . Had 2 implications
        • Helped the poor not to worse their situation
        • For a lender to forego interest- act of mercy-> a tangible way of expressing gratitude to God for the mercy he extended by bringing our Israelites out of Egypt when they were penniless slaves+ had given them land of their own+ expected them to express the siimilar kindness to their own poor citizens


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