Confession and Bookkeeping: The Religious, Moral, and by James Alfred Aho

By James Alfred Aho

Double-entry bookkeeping (DEB), smooth capitalism's before everything calculative know-how, used to be "invented" in the course of the heart a while whilst revenue making used to be morally stigmatized. James Aho examines the problematical of profitable and gives an explanatory figuring out of the paradoxical coupling of revenue looking and morality through situating DEB within the non secular situations from which it emerged, particularly the newly instituted sacrament of penance, that's, confession.
Confession impacted the consciences of medieval businessmen either via its sacramental shape and during its ethical teachings. the shape of confession produced frequent behavior of ethical scrupulosity (leading to compulsive list keeping); the content material of confession taught that trade itself was once morally suspect. Scrupulous businessmen have been hence pushed to justify their affairs to church, commune, and themselves. by means of DEB, lucrative was once "Christianized" and Christianity was once made extra amenable to the pursuit of wealth. even supposing DEB is sometimes seen solely as a scientifically impartial account of the movement of cash via an organization, it is still because it was once initially devised, a rhetorical argument.

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Extra info for Confession and Bookkeeping: The Religious, Moral, and Rhetorical Roots of Modern Accounting

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They defamed the penitential handbooks used in confession as “filled with errors and composed by unworthy authors” (Orsy, 1978: 43). In 829 CE the Council of Paris went so far as to order the books burned, but it was too late. The futility of resisting such a popular custom had become evident already to most Church authorities. Among the reasons for the enthusiastic reception of confession was that canonical penance (the earlier rite) had fallen Roman Catholic Penance 15 into ill-fame and had practically disappeared by the ninth century.

Cognizant that he has, perhaps, waxed too eloquently enthusiastic on these matters, he cautions readers that conscientiousness should not go so far as “seeing if the lamps have too thick a wick. . ” Tasks like these, he suggests, are best left to women (Alberti, 1971: 215–16). Business Scruples 37 Like his mentor, Pacioli also lauds the virtues of wakefulness, sobriety, and industry. In Particularis de Computis et Scripturis, he writes that the good manager is now here, now there; sometimes in the shop, sometimes at the market, and at still other times with the owner at fairs, while the shop is left in the hands of women “who can scarcely write” (Pacioli, 1963: 34).

12) at least once a year, preferably more often. This, with a priest not necessarily of their own parish. It consists of three parts: contrition, confession proper, and satisfaction. Contrition involves a painstaking “examination and recollection” by the penitent of their past. ” Contemplating the likelihood of eternal damnation if they fail to do so, the penitent must firmly resolve to amend their ways. To this end, they are cautioned to be 20 Confession and Bookkeeping “diligently exact” in their self-examination, “search[ing] all the nooks and recesses of [their] conscience,” lest one mortal sin escape purview.

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