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The Face of MammonThe Matter of Money in English Renaissance Literature$
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David Landreth

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199773299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773299.001.0001

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Mammon in the Tudor Common Wealth

(p.3) Introduction
The Face of Mammon

David Landreth

Oxford University Press

The Introduction situates the peculiar character of the English Renaissance's “Mammon”—i.e., money that talks— both theoretically and historically. What differentiates this Mammon from the medieval experience of money is the traumatic mid-sixteenth-century upheavals of inflation and monetary debasement. What differentiates it from the modern experience of money is its situation, not in the post-Enlightenment discourse of economics, but in the contemporary discourse of “commonwealth,” which coordinates material values with political, ethical, and theological ones. Landreth argues that straightforwardly economistic analyses are therefore insufficient to fully articulate the Renaissance's Mammon, and turn to the methods of object-oriented “material culture” and of metaphysical ontology.

Keywords:   Commonwealth, Debasement, Reformation, Latimer, Hugh. Sermons, Smith, Sir Thomas. A Discourse of the Commonweal, Heywood, John. Epigrams

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