There were many texts written in the period 1400-1700 that used the word economy. It goes like this
Aristotle – economics as eco household or estate, noms, rules, or management. so household management.
The Christian world starts with the idea of the wold as God’s household and all the christians part of one family. hence household management now is the universe. Notice the immense shifting of scale, allowing us to talk about the economy now as nearly the whole of society.
Then came lots of thinking about the community as a household within god’s reach but with its own logic and separable from theology, politics and philosophy. We get as an intermediate text (quoting from Germano Maifreda From Oikonomia to Political Economy page 195) Many details in this extraordinary book).
Jesuit historian, Daniello Bartoli (1608–1685) in his Ricreazione del savio of 1659. A er recalling the variety of languages, laws, customs and forms of government in the world, Bartoli concluded that for God,
… that great Father of the family (since God so names himself ), the whole world is a home and as St Cyprian shows, all the generations of men are a family. us the economy of his providence, in so far as regards the universal motives of public sustenance, is the same for all: in the perpetual movement of the heavens, in the infallible rising of the Sun, in the fecund influences of the stars, in the stable coming of the night and the day, in the ordered succession of the seasons, in the opportune administration of the rains and the winds.
Bartoli turns from the economic dimension of the household to the organization of the system of the universe, which is, in turn, economic. He does this through the agency of God who, as father of the family, di uses governing intelligence throughout reality. e theological foundations of the systemic sense of ‘economy’ could not be put more explicitly or be more explicitly linked to exchange, since, as Bartoli went on:
If, because of their dferent positions and their various relations to the sky, to heat and to cold, to cloudy and to ne weather, and to day and night, one or another country hold diverse shares [of natural bounty], this too, as we shall presently demonstrate, is wise foresight on the part of that great householder Providence, so as to unite what is divided and bring those far apart closer through abundance and need, so that commerce is born: otherwise, if every clime should have everything, none would bother with the others; and that they do not have certain things and of certain other things possess more than they can use is the work of providence which causes the variety of climates and, in accordance, the varying participation of the superior in uences.43