Mammon in the Tudor Common Wealth
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.
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