Commercial Loans and Lotteries

John McManners

in Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198270041
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600692 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Commercial Loans and Lotteries

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The question of loans for interest or ‘usury’ was much debated by eighteenth‐century churchmen, with the traditional ban being upheld in theory. But the legitimacy of reward for risk was accepted with regard to lotteries, provided they were for a good cause, and gambling in general, provided it was done in moderation. The ban on usury still made sense as far as protecting the peasantry was concerned, but was archaic with regard to commercial transactions. It was recognized by, for example, the Jesuits of Lyon, and largely ignored in practice.

Keywords: gambling; Jesuits; lotteries; usury

Chapter.  6322 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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