Today Religion Dispatches published an article that came out of my travels in the Middle East last fall. It’s about the financial and philosophical subculture of Islamic economics—the attempt to create an economic system consistent with religious law. This stuff has attracted a lot of attention lately because the very financial instruments that triggered the current recession, including subprime loans and credit swaps, aren’t allowed under the Islamic system.
Exploring the world of Islamic economic thought was fascinating. As well as a substantial and ever-growing Sharia-compliant banking industry, there is a body of deeply hopeful utopian literature. In a world that mostly consigns itself to the impersonal, ethics-free destiny of free-marketism, Islamic economics represents an ingenious attempt to return our humanity, or God’s divinity, to the markets.
Take a look: “Can Islam Save the Economy?“