Idols of Nations: Biblical Myth at the Origins of Capitalism, published by Fortress press, should be out any day now (here and here).

Idols of Nations 02

So in yet another moment of shameless promotion, a few endorsements:

A fascinating study unearthing the biblical elements that unexpectedly underpin the classic apologias for capitalism from Grotius to Malthus and Adam Smith, with reference to the Fall, original sin, predestination and freedom, all deeper narratives that sometimes even unconsciously seem to legitimize the emergence of this new and incomprehensible system.

Fredric Jameson, Duke University

The early philosophical promoters of capitalism as an ideology had a profound interest in theological questions. This is the first detailed study of the intersection between their philosophies, economic theories, and theological convictions. Boer and Petterson have given us a simply indispensable text.

Kenneth J. Surin, Duke University

Nicely done, fucking great etc. Very interesting stuff (and Adam Smith is madder than I thought, though I will be retelling the fable of the dogs to explain human society, commerce and exchange). What was particularly striking was the use of the Fall and Genesis … Anyway, it is a great book and I reckon you’ve got a topic here of central importance in the Bible and the development of capitalism. Piss off.

Sorry: the cleaned-up version will appear on the book:

In Idols of Nations, Roland Boer and Christina Petterson have produced a superbly argued book, which will be of central importance to anyone wishing to understand the interaction between the use of the Bible, theology and religion, and economics. They expertly show how discussion of the Fall casts a long shadow over the emergence of capitalism and related issues of liberalism and ethnocentrism, all of which persist in economic thinking to this day. Enjoyable, provocative, and learned.

James Crossley, University of Sheffield

Table of Contents:

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1: Hugo Grotius: Rewriting the Narrative of the Fall

Chapter 2: John Locke and the Trouble with Adam

Chapter 3: Adam Smith the StoryTeller

Chapter 4: The Lust and Hunger of Thomas Malthus

Conclusion

Bibliography

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