Owning and Owing: Property Debt
THEO 267 - Owning and Owing: Property Debt3 hours Beginning with Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, this course explores the theological and moral dimensions of economic relations. For millennia, questions of “owning and owing” have been prominent in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, especially in relation to the “divine economy” of sin, grace, and reconciliation. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther both condemned “usury” (the maligned Shylock’s trade), but for different theological reasons, and Muslims’ observation of proscriptions against lending with interest while participating in modern economies illustrates the challenge of applying the wisdom of the past to an age of subprime loans and global banking. Questions regarding property (e.g., land, air, water, ideas, stocks and bonds, debt–even human beings) are equally vexing. But here, too, Christianity and other traditions have theologically profound, challenging, and often diverse or contradictory things to say. This course begins to tap religious wisdom about owning and owing in economically challenging and even perilous times.This course will satisfy the theology core area requirement.