This essay pursues a threefold purpose: first, to sketch the historical period that provides the backdrop to the formation of Franciscan economic thought; second, to set out the principles governing that doctrine, highlighting its originality and its relevance to the real problems of the day; and lastly, to enumerate the essential reasons for the resurgence of interest, today, in the Franciscan point of view concerning the challenges to our society posed by globalization and by the present economic crisis.
Introduction: The reawakening of the eleventh century
Between the eleventh and the fourteenth century, the economy and the society of Europe underwent a profound structural transformation. The key elements were the rise of a commercial economy, the establishment of an urban culture, and the gradually increasing and eventually overwhelming use of money in economic transactions. Technical innovations, land reclamation and the tillage of new lands, new routes of communication, and new and more effective forms of contract all lay at the origin of accelerating productivity gains and the gradual transformation of rural society. (Bruni, Zamagni, 2007).
KEYWORDS: Franciscan economic thought, globalization