1. Raving at usurers: The life and death of David Jones -- 2. Hazarding all for God: The death of usury and the Financial Revolution, reconsidered -- 3. Risk and adventure in the Age of Projects: Noah, Defoe, Crusoe -- 4. Risk aversion and the economization of prudence: Fielding, gambling, gifts -- Conclusion John Ruskin and the ghost of David Jones.
Dwight Codr explores the complex intersection of religion, economics, ethics, and literature in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England. Codr offers an alternative to the orthodox story of secular economic modernity's emergence in this key time and place, locating in early modern anti-usury literature an "ethic of uncertainty" that viewed economic transactions as ethical to the extent that their outcomes were uncertain. Codr's development of an "anti-financial" reading practice reveals that the financial revolution might be said to have grown out of--rather than in spite of--early modern anti-usury and Protestant ethics.
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