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Divine AccountingTheo-Economics in Early Christianity$
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Jennifer A. Quigley

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780300253160

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300253160.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Divine Accounting

Jennifer A. Quigley

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of theo-economics, an intertwined theological and economic logic in which divine and human beings regularly enter into transactions with one another. There is significant evidence in antiquity that divine and semidivine beings were understood as having vibrant materiality within the economic sphere and that the gods were understood as economic actors, with whom humans could transact. The chapter then turns to theo-economic language in New Testament and early Christian texts, looking at Paul's Letter to the Philippians. It considers the topic of poverty in the field of biblical studies, especially within Pauline studies. One trend in Pauline scholarship — the analysis of charis — has emerged from a broader interest in sociology and anthropology about the phenomenon of gift exchange as well as the long afterlife of the language of gifts in the letters of Paul.

Keywords:   theo-economics, divine beings, theo-economic language, New Testament, early Christian texts, biblical studies, poverty, Pauline studies, charis, gift exchange, Letter to the Philippians

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