For God and Profit
For God and Profit

For God and Profit

How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good


300 Pages, 5.25 x 8.25

Formats: Hardcover, ebook: EPUB, Mobipocket

Hardcover, $29.95 (US $29.95) (CA $35.95)

Publication Date: May 2016

ISBN 9780824521882


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From Christianity's very beginning, it has had a difficult relationship with the world of money. Through developing sophisticated understandings of the nature and wealth-creating capacity of capital, Christian theologians, philosophers, and financiers exerted considerable influence upon the emergence and development of the international financial systems that helped unleash a revolution in the way the world thinks about and uses capital. In For God and Profit, Samuel Gregg underscores the different ways in which Christians have helped to develop the financial and banking systems that have helped millions escape poverty for hundreds of years. But he also provides a critical lens through which to assess the workings—and failures—of modern finance and banking. Far from being doomed to producing economic instability and periodic financial crises, Gregg illustrates that how Christian faith and reason can shape financial practices and banking institutions in ways that restore integrity to our troubled financial systems. 


"For God and Profit is a formidable book, packed with interesting and regularly unacknowledged and unknown historical information, especially about the contribution of Christian thinking to the development of banking, the rise of the markets and Western prosperity. It is also closely argued with Christian and natural law categories of right and wrong being used to evaluate the economies and financial systems of today and yesterday." —Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Vatican City

"Christians have long been suspicious of the worlds of finance and capital. But Samuel Gregg has produced just the book we need. It is ecumenical, patient in explaining concepts and practices that Christians of all confessions should know, characterized by logic and clear moral analysis, and attentive to the contributions made by Christians throughout history to the development of modern finance systems. At a time when finance not only seems bereft of a moral compass but also to be lurching from crisis to crisis, this is a book sorely needed by Christians today." —Michael Novak, author, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

"In his typically erudite fashion, Samuel Gregg has successfully synthesized an understanding of two topics which are, regretfully, too often seen as being in opposition to one another: God and finance. Grounding his analysis in a narrative which is equal parts modern economics and morality, he leaves the reader thankful for new and at times surprising insights." —Frank J. Hanna III, entrepreneur, merchant banker, author, What Your Money Means

"Many relationships between people today are based on finance and the exchange of financial value. Often the potential of these relationships and institutions are lost and damaged through harmful action and misguided thought. Both are challenged by Samuel Gregg in this timely, thoughtful and accessible book. He seeks not only to analyse and critique but to exhort, and his appeal is to reason and the Judeo-Christian tradition. His breadth of scholarship and understanding of contemporary finance make this book a relevant and insightful resource for thinkers and practitioners alike." —Peter S. Heslam, Transforming Business, University of Cambridge

"Christians have been indoctrinated with a distrust of money and its effects on society. This translates into the belief that money is inherently evil. Gregg is well-prepared and in one of the finest books ever written on the subject, shows how faith and finance are not incompatible" —John E. Roper, US Review of Books

Author Biography

Samuel Gregg is research director at the Acton Institute. He writes and speaks regularly on morality and economics. He is the author of many books including, among others, On Ordered Liberty (2003), The Modern Papacy (2009), Wilhelm Röpke's Political Economy (2010), Becoming Europe (2013), and his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2006). He is published in journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy; Journal of Markets & Morality; Economic Affairs; Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy; Library of Law and Liberty; First Things; Ave Maria Law Review; Oxford Analytica; Communio; Journal of Scottish Philosophy; University Bookman; Foreign Affairs; and Policy. His opinion-pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe; American Banker; Investors Business Daily; National Review; Public Discourse; American Spectator; The Federalist; Australian Financial Review; and Business Review Weekly. He holds an MA in political philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford.