The AIDs crisis in Africa has given the once-esoteric question of intellectual property rights critical and immediate significance. The issue of pharmaceutical patents is but one dimension of a broad and complicated area at the intersection of law, economics, and ethics. In this monograph, philosopher David Carey supplies an overview of the philosophical and legal foundation of intellectual property rights and argues that a Christian view of those rights is at once appreciative and critical. What is the place of intellectual property rights in Christian social thought? The Social Mortgage of Intellectual Property aims to lay out a coherent account of intellectual property, with philosophical reflection serving as the mortar by which a rich array of principles can be set into a unified framework, both comprehensive and comprehensible.