Institute of Classical, Mediterranean and Oriental Studies of the University of Wrocław And Dipartimento di Italianistica, Romanistica, Arti e Spettacolo of the University of Genoa Invite you to join the International and Interdisciplinary Conference on usury and attitudes towards it from antiquity till early modern times: Usura – Usury: the forgotten sin.
The aim of the conference is to investigate the feelings and opinions about usury, as well as the ways of behaving that are caused by this activity, including the original prohibitions, in the history of human kind. We invite submissions from a variety of humanistic subfields and affiliated disciplines among any of the subject areas listed below. We welcome paper proposals whose topics could be focused on theoretical aspects as well as their application through literary testimonies on any aspect of usury. In light of the various paradoxes, uncertainties and ambiguities surrounding usury we are interested in approaching it from a philosophical, religious and empirical standpoint therefore the possible topics for presentation could include, but are not limited to, the following three macro-aspects:

  • Philological and historical
    • Which include different geographical areas:
      • usury in the history of ancient civilisations (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome); middle ages; modern world;
      • usury in the ancient, medieval and modern western political philosophy;
  • Religious
    • usury in Abrahamic religions:
      • Judaism – Torah and the rabbinic literature
      • Christianity – New Testament, early Christian writings and scholastic theology, Protestant and Counter-reformation teachings and writings
      • Islam – the Quran, the sunnah of Muhammad, Islamic law
    •  usury in Chinese (Confucianism) and Indian (Hinduism, Buddhism) religions and philosophies;
  • Politico-economic factors
    • ethical arguments for and against usury;
    • economical arguments for and against usury;
    • mechanisms of avoidance usury: the law, Islamic banking

The Organizing and Scientific Committee:

  • Prof. Sonia Barillari (Università degli Studi di Genova)
  • Prof. Nicolò Pasero (Università degli Studi di Genova)
  • Prof. Mariusz Rosik (Pontificia Facultas Theologica Wratislaviensis)
  • Prof. Gościwit Malinowski (Uniwersytet Wrocławski).

The conference will be held from Thursday April 12th to Friday April 13th, (14th , if we plan to admit more tha 30 people) 2012 at the Institute of Classical, Mediterranean and Oriental Studies of the University of Wroclaw, ul. Szewska 49, PL-50-139 Wrocław.
Papers will be programmed into 30-minute timeslots and should be geared to a maximum length of 20-minutes; the remaining 10-minutes will be scheduled for questions. Abstracts should not be longer than 500 words, and should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation and e-mail address. Please send your submission in either Word or pdf format to: by February 15th, 2012.
The conference registration fee is 90 euro (covers 2 lunches, dinner, coffee breaks and conference materials).
The language of the conference is predominantly English, but we accept contributions in Italian, French and German.
The contributors are also invited to submit a written version of their paper for review for inclusion in the conference proceedings.
For more information about the conference, contact dr. Agnieszka Kotlińska-Toma in English ( or Mr. Gianluca Olcese, M.A., in Italian (
Więcej informacji: strona organizatorów