Professor Rebecca Bartel
Why is God on our money? Whose God is it? What does that tell us about the market? What does that tell us about religion? How can we think about religion and economics productively? This course explores the ways that religion and the economy are entangled. From Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” to the present moment of financial recovery, scholars have long been asking the question about religion and economy, morality and finance, and the ways these issues relate to each other. This course will introduce you to the theoretical foundations in anthropological and historical approaches to economics and religion, and illustrate these theories through specific case studies. The course will engage critical analysis from historical, post-colonial, gendered, and intercultural perspectives. The course also considers current events, financial markets, the credit industry, and debt as they are debated and discussed in the public sphere.