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Christian economics at the origin

Benedikt Koehler ()

Economic Affairs, 2020, vol. 40, issue 1, 50-62

Abstract: The New Testament contained copious information on how Jesus and the Apostles managed their households and personal finances. Christian economics originated in references made by Jesus, Paul, and Peter to oikonomia. Peter in Jerusalem introduced the incipient practice of Christian oikonomia through dispensing welfare, and Christians in Rome unfolded oikonomia when they acquired the catacombs. The funding and owning of built structures transformed Christianity from a private collective to a corporate institution. Constantine the Great marked this transition when he designated the recipient of a substantial endowment as the Corpus Christianorum. A trajectory that began in New Testament oikonomia concluded when Christianity had become an institutional actor in the economic sphere.

Date: 2020
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