Your Money or Your Life
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Your Money or Your Life

Economy and Religion in the Middle Ages

By Jacques Le Goff

Translated by Patricia Ranum

Distributed for Zone Books





In this intriguing study, Jacques Le Goff, one of the most esteemed contemporary French historians of the Middle Ages, presents a concise investigation of the problem that usury posed for the medieval Church, which had long condemned the lending of money for interest. Le Goff describes how, as the structure of economic life inevitably began to include financial loans, the Church refashioned its theology in order to condemn the usurer not to hell but merely to purgatory. Jacques Le Goff is Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and the author of The Birth of Purgatory. Patricia Ranum is the translator of Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism by Fernand Braudel.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780942299144 120 pp. | 9 in x 6 in


$18.95 T ISBN: 9780942299151 120 pp. | 9 in x 6 in


Patricia Ranum.


  • Le Goff's provocative essay […] is much more than an explanation of Church views on usury; it aims at dissecting the nature of economic thought in an age that condemned a crucial [economic] function as immoral and unnatural. The exposition is evocative and fun to read…. It offers a guide to understanding how economics and social values interacted.

    Journal of Economic History


  • ...lucid and surprisingly engaging.

    Eric Gelman

    The New York Times Book Review