Sourcebook in Late-scholastic Monetary Theory

Sourcebook in Late-scholastic Monetary Theory : The Contributions of Martin De Azpilcueta, Luis De Molina, and Juan De Mariana

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The Sourcebook in Late-Scholastic Monetary Theory is a thematically unified collection of seminal texts in the history of economics on the topic of money and exchange relations (cambium)_its nature, purpose, value, and relationship to justice and morality in financial transactions_within the tradition of late-scholastic commercial ethics. Cambium embraces the development of banking practices and institutions in early modern Europe and, therefore, is much broader in scope than the simple practice of exchanging currency. Here, for the first time, the unabridged texts of Mart'n de Azpilcueta's Commentary on the Resolution of Money (1556), Luis de Molina's A Treatise on Money (1597), and Juan de Mariana's Treatise on the Alteration of Money (1609) are available in English translation with scholarly annotations. The publication of these foundational texts under a single cover will stimulate exploration of the continuities and discontinuities, agreements and disagreements, innovations and ruptures within the Salamancan tradition of commercial ethics during the latter half of the sixteenth and the early seventeenth century. A close reading shows that the Salamancans were involved not only in an internal conversation within Spain concerning inflation, usury, rates of currency exchange, currency debasement, subjective value, just prices, and so on, but also that they were critical intermediaries in a wider conversation spanning centuries that includes prominent canonists, jurists, philosophers, and theologians. The Salamancans also serve as conduits of scholastic economic reflection to Adam Smith and the political economists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The texts (in conjunction with the introductions by leading authorities) demonstrate the sophistication with which the Spanish doctors examined the new process of using bills of exchange (cambium per litteras) to replace the cumbersome and dangerous transportation of metallic coins between commercial fairs, which led not only to new scholastic insights on interest, credit, and international trade, but also to a much more comprehensive analysis of monetary exchange and banking practices than had been undertaken before.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 398 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 34mm | 580.6g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0739117505
  • 9780739117507

Review quote

Scholars are indebted to Stephen Grabill for rescuing the works of these important Late Scholastics from undeserved obscurity. This collection is valuable not only because it fills a crucial gap in our understanding of the history of economic thought, but also because these are works of great insight in and of themselves. -- Thomas Woods, author of The Church and the Market Grabill roots his apology firmly enough in an overview of the scholastic tradition that non-specialists and general readers alike will appreciate his defense and understand the connections he outlines between high and late medieval economic thought and the Salamancan school... H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online For each of the three texts, the Sourcebook efficiently accomplishes its goal of setting each authors' specific concerns in areas of moral theology and economics within full social and intellectual contexts. H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online, January 2010 The book provides an excellent English source of works not often used by economic historians... invaluable to historians of economic thought... the book provides an excellent news source which should help broaden the horizons of classical economics. Sixteenth Century Journal This collection of texts in monetary theory will of course be extremely valuable to scholars of the history of economic thought, who will want to explore the place of these late-scholastic Spaniards in the emergence of modern economics. But this collection should also attract readers who are looking for interesting alternatives to the sterile positivism that constrains and diminishes so much of present-day economic thought. They will surely find such alternatives here, among writers who knew that what we believe about economics is ultimately a reflection of what we believe about human beings, and about the nature of the world they inhabit. -- Wilfred M. McClay, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Grabill roots his apology firmly enough in an overview of the scholastic tradition that non-specialists and general readers alike will appreciate his defense and understand the connections he outlines between high and late medieval economic thought and the Salamancan school. H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Onlineshow more

About Stephen J. Grabill

Stephen J. Grabill is research scholar in theology at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. He is founding editor of Journal of Markets & Morality.show more

Table of contents

Part 1 Commentary on the Resoluition of Money (1556) Part 2 Treatise on Money (1597) Part 3 A Treatise on the Alteration of Money (1609)show more

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