Past Event


May 10, 2021
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.

Please join us for a roundtable discussion with Charly Coleman, Associate Professor of History at Columbia University

How did the economy become bound up with faith in infinite wealth creation and obsessive consumption? Drawing on the economic writings of eighteenth-century French theologians, historian Charly Coleman uncovers the surprising influence of the Catholic Church on the development of capitalism. Even during the Enlightenment, a sense of the miraculous did not wither under the cold light of calculation. Scarcity, long regarded as the inescapable fate of a fallen world, gradually gave way to a new belief in heavenly as well as worldly affluence.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Department of French and Italian in the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Stanford University

Register for the webinar



  • Jessica Riskin, Professor of History, Stanford University and Director for the France-Stanford Center


  • Keith Baker, J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor in Humanities and Professor, by courtesy, of French and Italian. His research focuses on intellectual history and the history of political culture. His research on the cultural and political origins of the French Revolution has made important contributions to the development of a new understanding of that event and of its significance for the creation of modern politics.
  • Dan Edelstein, William H. Bonsall Professor in French and Professor, by courtesy, of History. He works for the most part on eighteenth-century France, with research interests in literature, history, political thought, and digital humanities. Most recently, he wrote a book on the history of natural and human rights from the wars of religion to the age of revolution (On the Spirit of Rights, University of Chicago Press).
  • Amalia Kessler, Director of the Stanford Center for Law and History and has an appointment (by courtesy) with the Stanford History Department.  She has served as the Jean-Paul Gimon Director of the France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and has been a visiting professor at Yale Law School, Tel Aviv University Law School, the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales.  Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 2003, she was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Buy the book(enter code Coleman20 to save 20%)