FAITH & ECONOMICS
NUMBER 76, Fall 2020
Faith and Economics in Robinson Crusoe
Australian National University
A. M. C. Waterman
University of Manitoba
Abstract: This paper offers a case study in the juxtaposition of literature
and economics, making use of Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe.
The novel is an extended treatment of social isolation; and many social
theorists, including many economists specifically, have thought that
focusing on a person in isolation is a useful means of illuminating certain
significant aspects of the ‘social’. Moreover, in this text there is much material dealing with the spiritual aspects of isolation/solitude. In that sense, in Robinson Crusoe, faith, economics, and social theory all come together; and we consider it an interesting exercise to examine how Defoe’s text illuminates these matters both in themselves and in their relation to each other.