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Abstract

Through an analysis of the Scriptural treatment of usury, a constructive theological analysis of the question of the friend-enemy distinction as a political category, its relationship to a Christian conception of universalism as determined by being in Christ, and the nature of faithful citizenship is forged. This essay argues that usury is a paradigmatic instance of the friend-enemy distinction as defined by Carl Schmitt and as such is primarily a political act. The article closes by analysing Schmitt's reading of Jesus’ commandment to love enemies and suggests that after Christ, the friend-enemy distinction ceases to be political and becomes missiological instead. The implication of this missiological conception is then related back to the on-going question of usury.