Breakfast Seminar: Finance today: what would Bonhoeffer say?

We are very excited to invite you to our upcoming study day held on the 15th November 2014 from 830 – 1030am at ETF.  Please find details of the breakfast seminar below:

Finance Today: What would Bonhoeffer Say? 

(Ethical Dilemma’s and Financial Advising: A way forward)

Financial advisors are often confronted with moral dilemmas in their work: is it ethical to advice the client to invest in risky financial products, when they receive commission? Should they heed the wish of clients who want a mortgage, even if the clients will have a hard time paying for it? At the same time,those receiving financial advice might have ethical questions too about the advice they are offered: is it truly prudent advice they are given?


Though ethical guidelines for professional financial advice differ from country to country, they are mostly deontological in bearing. As such they often fail to provide sufficient guidance in the highly contingent nature of financial advice. Recognizing this, in this breakfast seminar, the speaker proposes to supplement the deontological approach with the ethics of responsibility.

He will specifically focus on the way the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer appropriated this approach to ethics, in the context of his famous resistance against the Nazi regime. Bonhoeffer describes responsibility as having four dimensions: 1) vicarious representation; 2) accordance with reality; 3) the willingness to take on guilt; and 4) concrete action.

In this presentation, the speaker will show how thismultifaceted ‘public theological’ approach can provide guidance in contemporary ethical dilemmas faced in the world of financial advice, illustrating this with concrete examples from the professional practice itself.

Our Speaker Steven Van den Heuvel

Van den Heuvel, Steven-1Steven C. van den Heuvel (1985) studied Christian ministry at Ede Christian University as well as theology at ETF, where he earned his Masters degree. He is currently a PhD candidate, completing his dissertation on the relevance of the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer for environmental ethics.

Since 2011, he works for a small Dutch company involved in financial advice. Recently, he also became a part-time teaching assistant at the Theologische Universiteit Kampen (the Netherlands), and a part-time academic assistant at ETF.

Administrative Details  

If you would like to attend the breakfast seminar, please email, your name and the number of attendees by the 7th November 2014. The breakfast program is open to all at no charge although voluntary contributions towards the cost of these events are always welcome.


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