A History of Interest and Debt: Ancient Civilizations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A History of Interest and Debt

Ancient Civilizations, 1st Edition

Edited by Murat Ustaoğlu, Ahmet İncekara


176 pages

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Hardback: 9780367484880
pub: 2020-07-10
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With the spread of interest-based transactions, major problems such as inequality, poverty and debt-based slavery have emerged. Those who practiced professions such as usury have, despite the negative connotations attributed to them, contributed extensively to the construction of the conventional financial system in the global economy, suggesting that the core concepts in this practice need to be analyzed in greater depth and from a historical perspective.

This book analyses the evolution of interest-bearing debt transactions from Ancient times to the era of Abrahamic religions. In modern times, interest is strictly prohibited by Islam but this book demonstrates that it is a practice that has been condemned and legally and morally prohibited in other civilizations, long before Islam outlawed it. Exploring the roots of this prohibition and how interest has been justified as a viable practice in economic and financial transactions, the book offers deep insight into the current nature of finance and economics, and the distinctive features of Islamic finance in particular and enables researchers to further delve into a review of interest-free financing models. Islamic finance, or alternative financial methods have become extremely popular particularly in the aftermath of global financial crises, suggesting that they will attract further interest in the future as well.

The book is primarily aimed at undergraduate and graduate students but, as it avoids the use of technical jargon, it also speaks to a general readership. It will appeal to those who have an interest in financial history, particularly the history of borrowing practices as well.

Table of Contents




About the Editors


Chapter 1: Introduction to Interest and Debt

(Murat Ustaoğlu, Halil Şimşek and Servet Bayındır)

Chapter 2: Dynamics of Social Life in Ancient Mesopotamian Civilizations as Historical Precursors of Interest/riba within the Context of Religion, Politics and Economics

(Murat Ustaoğlu and Betül Mutlugün)

Chapter 3: Interest-bearing Debt in Ancient Civilizations: Sumerian Era

(Muhammet Sait Bozik and Selim Demez)

Chapter 4: TheMerchant Societies and Usury: Assyrians and Babylonians

(Muhammet Sait Bozik and Murat Ustaoğlu)

Chapter 5: Social Costs of Interest-bearing Debt in Ancient Greece

(Muhammet Sait Bozik and Ferda Güvenilir)

Chapter 6: Debt and Politics in Ancient Roman

(Muhammet Sait Bozik, Halil Tunalı and Murat Ustaoğlu)

Chapter 7: Interest-bearing Debt in Ancient Egypt

(Murat İstekli and Murat Ustaoğlu)

Chapter 8: Interest and Debt in Ancient China

(Muhammet Sait Bozik and Murat Ustaoğlu)

Chapter 9: Dynamics of Interest-bearing Debt in Hinduism

(Ferda Güvenilir and Ahmet İncekara)

Chapter 10: Interest and Debt in Buddhist Economic Doctrine

(Esra Türkoz, Mehmet Akyol and Murat Ustaoğlu)

Chapter 11: Interest and Debt in Ancient Era

(Murat Ustaoğlu and Abdüsselam Sağın)


About the Editors

Murat Ustaoğlu is an associate professor of economics at Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Ahmet İncekara is a professor of economics at Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.

About the Series

Islamic Business and Finance Series

There is an increasing need for western politicians, financiers, bankers, and indeed the western business community in general to have access to high quality and authoritative texts on Islamic financial and business practices. Drawing on expertise from across the Islamic world, this new series will provide carefully chosen and focused monographs and collections, each authored/edited by an expert in their respective field all over the world.

The series will be pitched at a level to appeal to middle and senior management in both the western and the Islamic business communities. For the manager with a western background the series will provide detailed and up-to-date briefings on important topics; for the academics, postgraduates, business communities, manager with western and an Islamic background the series will provide a guide to best practice in business in Islamic communities around the world, including Muslim minorities in the west and majorities in the rest of the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Banks & Banking
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Macroeconomics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Money & Monetary Policy
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Islamic Banking & Finance
HISTORY / Middle East / General
RELIGION / Islam / General