Drawing on debates about the religious nature and origins of contemporary European capitalism, this book argues for a distinction between a Northern/Protestant and a Southern/Catholic spirit of capitalism. The first part of the book explores the history of the relationship between capitalism and Christianity. Going back much further than Weber’s “protestant ethic” arguments, it looks at the early centuries of Christianity from the gospels to Augustine and follows the story through the Middle Ages – with special attention devoted to the role of Monasticism and Franciscanism – to modernity. The second part of the book analyses the origin of the “southern spirit of capitalism: before and after Luther and the Calvinist Reformation. It highlights the key features which demonstrate that the Catholic spirit of capitalism is, in fact, different from the Anglo-Saxon spirit. This book will be of interest to readers in history of economic thought, history of capitalism, economic ethics and religious history.

chapter 1|8 pages

At the Beginning …

chapter 3|12 pages

Francesco's Economy

chapter 4|11 pages

Some Middle Age Issues

chapter 7|11 pages

The Economic Spirit of the North

chapter 8|17 pages

The Spirit of the South

Civil Economy

chapter 9|9 pages

The Economics of Anti-modernity

The Case of Giuseppe Toniolo

chapter |6 pages