2 Comments

  1. georgiosscholarios
    October 7, 2016

    Excellent article. I would just add that not a few Latin doctors gave some accomodation to the wealthy, so long as they were not greedy. St. Augustine even has a sermon where he even says that the some of the poor might have greater greed than some of the rich. Aquinas defends the rich in a similar way: https://books.google.com/books?id=E1inXI59EQkC&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=aquinas+abraham+wealth&source=bl&ots=upIFR4YSx7&sig=0vtG5Em1Jrft5dzfAberB9q_mRA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKzYGq8sjPAhXGez4KHUTFDygQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=aquinas%20abraham%20wealth&f=false

    Of course, there are always exaggerations in sermons, so in a homily on greed, a saint may condemn “the rich,” even though the saint elsewhere states that not all the wealthy are greedy. I was disappointed that Hart seems to have missed this very important in his interpretation of the NT.

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    1. Gabriel Sanchez
      October 7, 2016

      Agreed. I wasn’t trying to advance the idea that the Latin Fathers followed the Opus in full, only that this document had more influence on Western thinking than Eastern (despite its Greek origins). I think what is really striking is how willing both Chrysostom and the Opus were to condemn merchants outright and then only relax this condemnation under certain circumstances, such as the person who doesn’t merely buy and sell, but interjects his labor into the equation.

      Of course, I can already anticipate economic liberals saying that the very action of buying and selling requires the interjection of labor in the sense of knowing economic forecasts, keeping up with supply/demand, etc., but that’s not the sort of labor the author of the Opus had in mind. He is clearly thinking in terms of physical manipulation of what is being bought and sold, such as taking purchased leather and turning it into a pair of boots before selling them, etc.

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