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Feb 14, 2022

The Corrupting Influence of Greed

The Corrupting Influence of Greed

The Seven Deadly Sins in the Modern World

“We shouldn’t interpret greed too narrowly as having to do with material wealth. What greed consists in is wanting more than it is good to have. If you admire in an immoderate way, that will turn to envy. If you love in an immoderate way, that will turn to lust. Greed is the thing that corrupts other things and creates the six other deadly sins.” Robert P. George

“Greed is always under attack in the Torah. The Torah is filled with commands about how to treat other human beings and in particular not assuming that you have a right to maximize your wealth without regard for the consequences that has for others. We live in a society where this part of Torah has been deeply underplayed.”Rabbi Michael Lerner

“The Prophet ﷺ said two diseases destroy civilization and rip society apart: greed and hatred. It seems to me that one of the daughters of greed is insensitivity and lack of mercy toward others.” —Hamza Yusuf

In this conversation, Professor Robert P. George, Rabbi Michael Lerner, and editor-in-chief Hamza Yusuf discuss the corrupting vice of greed that religious traditions and ancient philosophers determined as the catalyzing agent to the six other vices.

Read Robert P. George's bio here

Michael Lerner is the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley, California.

Read Hamza Yusuf's bio here


Renovatio editor-in-chief Hamza Yusuf—conversing with scholars, leaders, and writers—explores one of religion’s most enduring conceptual frameworks, the Seven Deadly Sins. These conversations, filmed to capture their warmth and intimacy, shed light on how the sins manifest themselves within us, illustrate their devastating consequences on our culture, and elucidate their corresponding virtues for all of us who struggle with sin.

Visit the Seven Deadly Sins homepage