Posts Tagged ‘Middle Ages’

Gary Richardson on Religion & Craft Guilds in the Middle Ages

While economic historians have long been interested in the rise of craft guilds during the medieval era, Prof. Gary Richardson documents their surprising origins in confessional organizations and the role that religious ritual, practice, and prayer played in their maintenance. None of this should have come as a surprise, though, as the primary documents from these guilds is saturated with religious discussion. We review how religion helped to enhance cooperation and coordination among professional groups, maintain a level of quality, and what happened when the Black Death came to visit England.

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Jared Rubin on Christian and Islamic Economic History

Did religion or church-state institutions have anything to do with the great economic divergence between Christian Europe and the Islamic world beginning in the 11th century? Prof. Jared Rubin of Chapman University reviews the economic history of these two civilizations, covers the dominant explanations for the observed divergence, and then discusses his own research showing that the relationship between religious and political authorities in each region of the world had a great deal to do with why Europe surged ahead economically. We focus primarily on the role of usury laws and financial interest, but Prof. Rubin gives us a taste of some of his work relating to the economic importance of the printing press.

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Philip Jenkins on Global Christianity

Historian Philip Jenkins discusses the changing face of global Christianity. The conversation begins by looking at the global nature of Christianity throughout history and how it became conceived of as a European faith. Our attention then turns to how Christianity is expanding and changing in Africa, Asia and Latin America and what this means for religion in Europe and the United States.

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