DISCOVERING THE MORAL VALUE OF MONEY: USURIOUS MONEY AND MEDIEVAL ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN PARISIAN QUODLIBETS Ian P. Wei Introducing "Nummulatria," meaning worship of money, Alan of Lille, a leading master of theology who taught in Paris in the second half of the twelfth century, had the figure of Nature condemn her as a "daughter of Idolatry," better known as "Avarice": "This is Avarice through whom money is deified in men's minds and a right to divine veneration is openly granted to cash." Nature continued to complain, "Now not Caesar but cash is everything," and even Christ was supplanted by money as Nature lamented that "Cash conquers, cash rules, cash gives orders to all," money thus replacing Christ in the venerable phrase "Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat."1 In the early thirteenth century, Thomas of Chobham, another Parisian master of theology, quoted from the New Testament and Gratian's Decretum to establish the sinfulness of usury: "And the Lord said in the Gospel, `Lend without expecting repayment.' And canon law says, `There is usury wherever one demands more than one gives,' no matter what is involved and even if one does not receive anything, if one simply hopes to receive."2
Mediaevalia – State University of New York Press
Published: Apr 28, 2012
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