Prompt: Using the documents, compare and contrast the attitudes of Christianity and Islam toward merchants and trade from the religions origins’ origins until about 1500. Are there indications of change over time in either case, or both? What kinds of additional documents would you need to assess the consequences of these attitudes on merchant activities? During the Post-Classical Era merchants played an incredible role in shaping the course of different societies. Christianity in its origins had a negative view of merchants while Islam was more positive as seen in their religious documents; however by 1500 the two religions had switched their views, Christianity more positive and Islam negative as displayed in the opinions of authorities and the action of merchants.
Views on wealth can be seen in the religious documents of each religion. Christianity had its genesis in the first century C.E. and had a negative view of merchants and wealth as stated by Jesus (doc 1) However, this source is just one statement from the Christian scriptures and additional religious documents would be necessary to make a complete thorough argument on Christianity’s views on wealth and merchants. On the other hand Islam which was born in the 7th century C.E. and was more positive in its treatment of wealth if the merchant was honorable (doc 2). As in the case of Christianity it would be necessary to have further passages from the Koran on the issue of wealth and merchants to give a complete picture of Islam’s origins view. However with the sources provided it is clear that Christianity has a more negative view on wealth than Islam at their origins. As time progressed in the Post-Classical Era there were major changes in Islam and Christianity as seen in the discussions of Authorities. Islam had expanded across Afro-Asia and had become very wealthy because of trade in Dhar Al-Islam. On the other hand Christian Europe had entered a Dark-Ages of little trade with the fall of the Roman...
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