The first guidelines for individuals and business owners to manage their financial affairs in an ethically accountable manner date back over 3,500 years. The Hebrews believed that God bestowed moral freedom on all people and gave them the capacity and personal responsibility to choose between good and evil. The Hebrews also emphasized the dignity of the individual and hence the need to express mercy toward the poor and oppressed. Over time these ethical principles were reflected in both Christian and Islamic theology.

According to some scholars, the foundation of capitalism can be traced back to the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Not only did the Reformation give individuals a religious obligation to pursue wealth, but it also gave ...

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