In the Name of God: managing risk in Islamic finance

Valentino Cattelan (Corresponding / Lead Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In Against the gods: the remarkable story of risk (1996), Peter L. Bernstein illustrates how the mastery of risk has driven modern Western society into converting «the future from an enemy into an opportunity», where risk is quantified, measured, and managed to mitigate the perils of the unexpected, and where risk-taking, -transfer and -pooling have become per se sources of legitimate profit. Commenting on Bernstein’s work while moving from the Western ‘risk’ to the Arabic رزق rizq, ‘(God’s) sustenance’, this article looks at human hazard, زهر zahr, the ‘dice’ of future chances, through a comparative and inter-cultural perspective. More precisely, it aims to show how specific anthropological assumptions result in an alternative theory and practice of risk management in a market whose peculiarity is to operate not ‘against’ but ‘in the Name of God’: namely, the market of Islamic finance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-164
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 12 Dec 2022


    • risk management
    • Islam
    • Islamic banking
    • Islamic economics
    • anthropology
    • Cultural studies
    • Islamic law


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