Invitation to Conference- Driven by Hope: Economics and Theology in Dialogue

Driven by Hope: Economics and Theology in Dialogue

You are cordially invited to our conference on 24th-25th February 2017 at ETF, Leuven, Belgium. 

Hope is a driving force for transformation, innovation, economic growth and wellbeing. Hope, often articulated as an endorsed desire for a future which is uncertain, has a clear economic significance as do the unfortunate opposites such as anxiety and inertness. Hence, hope is more than just an emotion or an optimistic attitude. It is related to reason and prudence in the sense of one’s rational assessment of a di cult situation, possible solutions and the prediction of changes. Hope is as complex and ambiguous as the human person itself.

For many centuries philosophers and theologians have reflected on the meaning of hope.
More recently hope has drawn attention of the young discipline of positive psychology. Also in economics, attempts are made to define the concept and measure its effects, opening up the way for policy interventions.

Considering the multifaceted nature of the concept of hope, its study requires an interdisciplinary investigation. This academic conference contributes to this investigation – its aim is to form an initial step to have a better understanding of the field of research and to encourage dialogue, primarily between economics and theology, but also between disciplines such as philosophy and psychology.


This year, we have invited keynote speakers in the field of Theology and Economics to speak at our conference. This include

Prof. Dr. Luigino Bruni is Professor of Economics at the LUMSA University, Rome and at the Sophia University of Loppiano in Florence. In 2008, he won the Silver Prize at the “Templeton Enterprise Awards” for his research into Civil Happiness. His current research focuses on the role of intrinsic motivation in economic and civil life.

Prof. Dr. Lans Bovenberg is Professor of Economics at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management, where he also occupies the F.J.D. Goldschmeding chair on economics education. He has been elected as best Dutch economist by professors at Dutch universities in FEM de Week (March 2000), and he also was awarded the prestiguous Spinoza price, in 2003. He has many research interests, such as taxation, pensions, environmental economy, public nances, monetary policy, and economy education.

Prof. Dr. Patrick Nullens is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven, Belgium. He also serves as the Director of the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics, a research institute under the umbrella of the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit. He currently focuses his research on the theology and ethics of hope.

Apart from these keynote addresses, more than 20 academic papers will be presented in different tracks. The detailed program will be made available online once details are finalised.

Administrative Details

The conference costs 75 Euros (includes lunch, coffee breaks and program material). There will be a conference dinner for 30 Euros per person. There is a discounted rate of 40 Euros for students. Individuals who have extraordinary circumstances (e.g. unemployed and scholars from the developing world can send a motivated request to be exempt from paying these costs, to

The conference begins at 9am on the 24th February and ends on the 25th February 2017.

There are no more rooms available at ETF. For accommodation options, please refer to FYI, the closest hotel to ETF is IBIS HEVERLEE.

To register for this conference, please register through this link.

For more information please refer to the official invitation


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