chapter
7 Pages

Introduction

WithJohn T. Fitzgerald, David B. Hollander, Thomas R. Blanton

Religion, though often neglected in studies of the economy, plays a role in all countries and inevitably in their economies. Like all nations, all religions have economic aspects and face financial challenges. Many of the issues with which they deal have economic as well as ethical components, and many theological doctrines have considerable social, political, and economic ramifications. In the twentieth century, various scholars made important contributions to some of the economic issues in the New Testament and to the history of early Christianity and the ancient economy, but these treatments tended to be isolated studies focused on particular questions. The Early Christianity and the Ancient Economy research project program unit holds considerable significance for its contribution to the methods used to study biblical literature, Greek economic thought and practice, the culture of ancient Rome, and religion more broadly.