L’Observatoire des religions
In bookshop on 24th of January

God’s Trade, Economics of judaism, christianism and islam

by Philippe Simonnot

dimanche 13 janvier 2008

Philippe Simonnot, graduate of the Institute of Political Studies of Paris, Doctor of Economics, Director of The Observatory of Religions, senior fellow of Centre for the New Europe, Ex-Professor of Law and Economics at the University Paris-Nanterre, author of more than twenty books in Economics and History, is working on the links between religions and economics. His last book (God’s Trade, Economics of judaism, christianism and islam) is published in France end of January 2008.

For the first time an economist has read and analysed the Holy textes of the great monotheistic religions, with economic tools. The book demonstrates that a basic economical point of view, reachable by everyone, can bring into light " the fabrication " and evolution of the Jewish, Christian and Moslem monotheistic religions.

It is done in a complete and clear way and adressed to both believers and non-believers.

It is indeed a genuine deal that God made with Abraham, the founding father reclaimed by the three religions. A deal leading to " The Promised Land " which is still today a contentious matter.

Paradoxically the " God’s Trade" aims at ending competition on " the religious market ", since monotheism gives monopoly to the belief of a " jealous ", unique and exlusive God. This belief facilitates the reception of tithes, donations and offerings which finance the everyday life of priests and their sometimes sumptuous investments. The temple of Jerusalem is an emblematic example which shows the process of richness accumulation. Although this example is a model for other religions.

Using a material unexplored yet in France, the author is eager to make a detail of both the origin and functionning of the jewish sanctuary and its extension. As the notion of " natural " monopoly must rely on State to be maintained, it is submitted to the market law and must be cautious for instance, not to increase " prices ", or not to lie about the quality of its services.

The history of belief is highlighted in a singular way by the author who chose to analyse religion from an economical point of view.

Le marché de Dieu, Economie du judaïsme, du christianisme et de l’islam.

Denoël, coll. Mediations. 336 p. 22 €

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