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The book aims at a readership of both economists and historians. Beyond the well-known Weberian thesis concerning the role of Protestantism in the development of capitalism, monastic economies are studied to assess their impact on the religious patterns of economic behavior. Those issues are discussed in the frame of key economic concepts such as rationality, state intervention, networking, agency, and governance. The book includes essays concerning Byzantine, Ottoman and modern South-Eastern Europe, and early modern Western Europe. Survival and continuity of the monastic wealth is considered as an example of successful handling of real estate transactions, flows of funds, and contacts with financial institutions. Moreover, the book focuses on the economic impact of the privileged relations of monasticism with the secular powers. Finally, the question is raised how the monastic economy (still) matters in the contemporary world.
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This volume is presenting the outcomes of the Research Network Dedicated to the History of the Monastic Economy hosted by CAS and supported by the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe (GCE) at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in the University of St. Gallen .