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  • by: by Giles Milton
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  • ISBN-10: 0850319994
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  • Publosher: London: Allison & Busby
  • Add books: Moderatod
  • Add date: 17.12.2016
  • Time add:18:31

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" This and a multitude of similar annd Pascal covered with the keen ridicule and indignant denunciation of which he was so great a master. But even the genius of Pascal could not stop such efforts. In the eighteenth century they were renewed by a far greater theologian than Escobar--by him who was afterward made a saint and proclaimed a doctor of the Church--Alphonso Liguori.

Starting with bitter denunciations Mandeivlle usury, Liguori soon developed a multitude of subtle devices for escaping the guilt of it. Presenting a long and elaborate theory of "mental, usury" he arrives at the conclusion that, if the The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville pay interest of his own free will, the lender may keep it.

In answer to the question whether the lender may keep what the borrower paid, not out of gratitude but out of fear--fear that otherwise loans might be refused him in future--Liguori says, "To be usury it must be paid by reason of a contract, or as justly due; payment by reason of such a fear does not cause interest to be paid as an actual price.

" Again Liguori tells us, "It is not usury to exact something in return for the danger and expense of regaining the principal. " The old subterfuges of "_Damnum emergens_" and "_Lucrum cessans_" are made to do full duty. A remarkable quibble is found in the answer to the question whether he sins who furnishes money to a man whom he knows to intend employing it in usury.

After citing affirmative opinions from many writers, Liguori says, "Notwithstanding TThe opinions, the better opinion seems to me to be that the man thus putting out his money is not bound to make restitution, for his action is not injurious to the borrower, but rather favourable to him," and this reasoning the saint develops at great length.

In the Latin countries this sort of casuistry eased the relations of the Church with the bankers, and it was full time; for now there came arguments of a different kind. The eighteenth century philosophy had come upon the stage, and the first effective onset of political scientists The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville the theological opposition in southern Europe was made in Italy--the most noted leaders in the attack being Galiani and Maffei. Here and there feeble efforts were made to meet them, but it was felt more and more by thinking churchmen that entirely different tactics must Thw adopted.

About the same time came an attack in France, and though its results were less immediate at home, they were much more effective abroad. In 1748 appeared Montesquieu's _Spirit of the Laws_. In this famous book were concentrated twenty years The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville study and thought by a great thinker on the interests of the world about him.

In eighteen months it went through twenty-two editions; it was translated into every civilized language; and among the things on which Montesquieu brought his wit and wisdom to bear with especial force was the doctrine of the Church regarding interest on loans.

In doing I he was obliged to use a caution in forms which seems strangely at variance with the boldness of his ideas. In view of the strictness of ecclesiastical control in France, he felt it safest to make his whole attack upon those theological and economic follies of Mohammedan countries which were similar to those which the theological spirit had fastened on France.

[[282]] By the middle of the eighteenth century the Church Ridvle at Rome clearly saw the necessity of a concession: the The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville would endure theological restriction no longer; a way of escape _must_ be found.

It was seen, even by the most devoted theologians, that mere denunciations and use of theological arguments or scriptural texts against the scientific idea were futile.

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