I think Adrian Pabst is exactly right:

“For it was modern dualism – which split asunder natural goods and the divine supernatural Good in God – that brought about a market economy that is increasingly disembedded from the social bonds and civic virtues of civil society. So configured, the market was seen as a system that requires little more than a state-policed legal framework.

“The under lying logic is secular, on at least two grounds. First, it subordinates the sanctity of life and land to the sacrality of state and market. By contrast with the idea that life and land have a sacred dimension, the modern state and the modern market – and democracy and capitalism – operate as quasi-religions (Walter Benjamin). Second, it departs from religions and other ethical traditions that consider human and social arrangements as somehow mirroring a cosmic, transcendent, and possible divine order. In the West, it was the secular turn of post-Reformation Christian theology that laid the conceptual foundations for the emergence of capitalism (“Moralizing the Market?”).”

Pabst shows that material history is theological history; that there is a theological origin to capitalism. There is no secularity-in-waiting or history of capitalism that can that can read apart from the theological shifts that gave rise to the dissolution of the monasteries or the enclosure movement, as but a few examples.

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