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Drawing Deeply on the Views of Thomas Aquinas. He Became Poor challenges the modern economic tendency toward the "proprietary self" and calls for a renewed appreciation of the virtues of trusting receptivity and humble awareness of our membership in a larger benevolent order. Christopher Franks reveals how the summons to become poor bestows a new intelligibility on formerly obscure economic teachings. In the course of his discussion Franks juxtaposes Aquinas with Aristotle, John Locke, and Alasdair Maclntyre.
This book makes a provocative case for taking Aquinas's thoughts on economics more seriously and illustrates how the very market conditions of the modern world cloud any attempt to fully understand Aquinas. Franks offers a convincing argument that questioning market-formed assumptions can actually help us recover the evangelical character of Aquinas's ethics.
Introduction: Mendicancy as a Key to Thomas's Economic Teaching 1
1 Aristotelian Deference and Nonmarket Society 35
2 Usury, Just Price, and Natural Order 67
3 Ontological Poverty and the Priority of the Counsels 105
4 Mendicant Poverty and Following Christ 132
5 Christ's Poverty and the Completion of Nature 158
Conclusion: Humble Vulnerability and Market Society 182