I’ve been reading a really good book, The History of Money, by Jack Weatherford. Starting with the first coins, made in Lydia in the fifth century BC, to our current venture into electronic money, the author uses clear language to show how money shapes culture, even civilization itself. Fascinating!
For anyone in the Twin Cities area this coming Sunday, January 21, and interested in English coinage from Canute to Elizabeth II, I am giving a short lecture on that subject at my church. St. George’s Episcopal Church in St. Louis Park will host me (I’m a member) between the services (8 am and 10:30) from nine-fifteen am until ten o’clock. I will have my collection of English coins on display. For a dollar you can also buy a cup of coffee or tea and choose from among a selection of really good pastries. A sample from my talk:
Control of money belongs to the government, which is why the head of government in kingdoms is stamped on the coin. Father Tom preached a few months ago on Baptism, on how the Sacrament puts a stamp on the new Christian, marking him or her as “Christ’s own forever.” This leads me to come to all kinds of allegorical connections between the Sacrament and my coins, some of them, probably, incorrect, even heretical. But still, Christ is the head of our church, and by Baptism we are marked as His permanently in the same way as these coins are permanently stamped with the face of the person responsible for their existence. I find that a lovely coincidence.
Do come if you can. The doughnuts really are good.