San Bernardino of Siena and Sant'Antonino of Florence: The Two Great Economic Thinkers of the Middle Ages

Raymond De Roover

The subtitle of this work was not idly chosen: “the two great economic thinkers of the Middle Ages.” It is the key to Professor de Roover’s perceptive appraisal of the economic ideas and views on business ethics of San Bernardino da Siena, O.F.M. (1380-1444) and Sant’Antonino da Firenze, O. P. (1389-1459). His careful setting of these men in their spiritual and secular environments poses the tensions they experienced between dogma and freedom of economic thought. Yet the economic “escape-hatches” which they propounded in their interpretation of the canon emerge as much more propitious for the development of capitalism and Weber, Tawney, and many others have thought.

San Bernardino of Siena and SantAntonino of Florence
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Baker Library, Boston, 1967