The articles in this volume explore the ways in which different types of religious community organised their economy and controlled their finances. These topics were acknowledged already by Cassian and they are mentioned in the rule of St. Benedict. Attitudes to religious poverty and to wealth were largely determined by two parameters. The first was the impressive variety of forms of religious life with its development of different attitudes to poverty and wealth and to a multitude of forms of economic activity. The second parameter was set by other factors, the economic, political and geological environment which determined the requirements of each religious community. These parameters caused a strain between the religious ideals on the one hand and outside pressures which could affect individual communities or religious orders. This is explored in nine articles dealing with the traditional Benedictines, the military orders as well as the mendicants in different parts of Europe.