Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington
  • People


Course Description

Jews, Money, and Finance in Historical Perspective (3 cr)
Sarah Ifft Decker
JSTU-J 304 Social & Historical Topics in Jewish Studies (32080)
TR 9:30-10:45 (BH 305)

Early Christians criticized Jews as overly concerned with the material, rather than the spiritual. Medieval Christian thinkers presented Jews as greedy moneylenders—and characterized Christian creditors as “Jewish.” Nazi propaganda drew on associations between Jews, greed, and excessive wealth. Some of these stereotypes arguably resurfaced in depictions of Jewish businessmen involved in the recent financial crisis. This course will trace the development of anti-Semitic tropes linking Jews and money, within the broader historical context of actual Jewish involvement in trade and finance, from Late Antiquity to the modern era.