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Conference “Economics and Human Flourishing: (What) Can Economists Learn from Theology?”

June 30, 2023 - July 1, 2023




How does economics contribute to human flourishing? This ever-relevant question gains new pertinence in the context of the increasing pace of industrial change, technological progress, environmental degradation, poverty and inequality. It is clear that economic policy choices frame our external choice environment, but insofar as the neoliberal vision of homo economicus captivates us, our internal sense of self, personhood, and flourishing may be transformed.

The conference focuses on the dialogue between the disciplines of economics, philosophy, and Christian theology. The conference will provide an opportunity to engage with and learn from a diverse group of global leading thinkers in these, and other, disciplines. Motivated by a widely documented anthropological poverty (or ignorance) of human nature in economics, the idea underlying the conference can be summarised along four principles:

1) Economics is important for human flourishing.

2) Christian theology contains relevant knowledge about humans and what is of value.

3) These anthropological insights and resources inform and shape the questions that should be answered by new economic models.

4) The models may themselves ask questions back to theology and its related disciplines.

This conference offers engaging plenary lectures, and two parallel workshop tracks. Track A addresses the potential shared anthropological ground between economics and theology, inviting contributions from disciplines such as theology, anthropology, philosophy (e.g. personalism), and history of ideas. Track B is specifically designed for scholars trained in the (formal) language of economic models. It asks how insights from other disciplines with a richer understanding of anthropology, such as theology, can feed in ideas to economists, whilst allowing them to treat those insights within the ‘epistemic culture’ of economics, based to a considerable degree on mathematical modelling. Through the keynote lectures, insights from both tracks will be integrated into a larger debate.  


We are exited to announce the keynote speakers:


Gordon Menzies, D.Phil. (University of Oxford, 2001), Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia.    



Masao Ogaki, Ph.D. (University of Chicago, 1988), Professor, Faculty of Economics, Keio University. Masao Ogaki joined the Keio University faculty in 2009.    



Ellen Van Stichel, Ph.D. (Catholic University Leuven, 2010), Assistant Professor of Christian Social and Political Ethics at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the KU Leuven (Belgium).      




Registration for the conference is open. A pdf version of the conference invitation can be found below.




Photo (modified) by Emma Wurfel on Unsplash


June 30, 2023
July 1, 2023


Leuven Center of Christian Studies, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven
Sint-Jansbergsesteenweg 97
Leuven, 3001 Belgium
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