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Life, debt and the pursuit of happiness

December 29, 2008

This has been hanging around in my RSS feed with a must blog tag attached to it for several months now. It’s Margaret Atwood talking about debt, not just in the context of financial crisis, but its whole relationship to slavery, social equity and our relationship with the planet out of which we eke an increasingly precarious existence. I was also reading elsewhere of the increasing interest show in Islamic Banking, the proven success of the Grameen Bank and other forms of Micro-lending. In 325 the clergy were forbidden usury in the First Council of Nicaea. Thomas Acquinas taught that living of interest alone was a sin, while sharing the risk of an investment was not. Dante placed ursers on the inner ring of the seventh circle of hell, a barren plain of sand ignited by flakes of fire. There is a pattern here, and it may be time to reread the parable of the talents for a new world which if it is not brave at least needs to less gung ho.

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