Usury and the Church: A Christian Response to Payday Lending
38 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2011
Date Written: May 6, 2011
A recent study by Christopher Peterson & Steven Graves found that “payday” lenders are more prevalent in conservative Christian areas. This paper offers a supplement to Peterson & Graves findings by adding to the discussion the perspective of the Christian churches, located both inside and outside of the areas implicated in the study, on the issue of poverty and its connection to predatory lending practices. This paper’s study employed ethnographic research methods to uncover Christians' perception on these issues. The findings do not support the social/political stereotype that conservative Christians necessarily support conservative political positions regarding usury laws, but instead suggest a more fundamental issue with the Christian church actually accomplishing its mission of applying Biblical teaching to all areas of life, which include one's financial dealings and providing for the poor in one's community.
Keywords: Christianity, Law, Debt, Usury, Payday Lending
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