ILSE conference Economics and Human Flourishing

30 June 2023


ILSE conference Economics and Human Flourishing

Location : ETF Leuven

Language : English

regular participant: € 150.00
paper presenter: € 125.00

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 ILSE conference is themed ‘Economics and Human Flourishing: (What) Can Economists Learn from Theology?’ and is searching for an answer to that question in a various program. The conference offers twenty paper presentations, which are offered in two parallel workshop tracks.

In track A, papers address the potential shared anthropological ground between economics and theology. In track B, scholars who are trained in the (formal) language of economic models focus on the question of how insights from other disciplines can feed in the ‘epistemic culture’ of economics, based to a considerable degree on mathematical modelling.

Through plenary summaries, as well as through the contributions of three exciting keynote lectures, insights from both tracks will be integrated into a larger debate.

Keynote speakers

Gordon Menzies, D.Phil. (University of Oxford, 2001), is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia. From 1986 until 2003, he was an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia, and in the mid-1990s he was seconded to the Australian Federal Treasury as an economic modelling consultant. He joined the Faculty of UTS in 2003. His work has focused on the possible dangers of economic thinking, either when it ignores the human side to economic interactions, or when markets become an over-riding metaphor for all social life. An example of this is his book Western Fundamentalism: Democracy, Sex and the Liberation of Mankind (2021), which explores the dangers of neoliberalism, and interprets the sexual revolution as a form of right-wing ‘deregulation’. He took up the Deputy Directorship of the UTS Paul Woolley Centre for Capital Market Dysfunctionality until 2016. Later that year, he was invited as a visiting scholar at the Oxford Martin School funded by the Institute for New Economic
Thinking to work on the necessity of trust in core economic functions like banking.

Masao Ogaki, Ph.D. (University of Chicago, 1988), is Professor of Economics at the Keio University, Japan. Masao Ogaki joined
the Keio University faculty in 2009. He had previously taught at University of Rochester and Ohio State University. His research areas have been macroeconomics, econometrics, and international economics; his recent major research interests lie in the areas of behavioral economics. Currently, Ogaki’s research includes economics of the community mechanism (by which at least one person proposes voluntary cooperation, and the proposal is not rejected) that complements the works of the market and public sectors. One of his research interests is the question how worldviews affect economic behaviors (especially altruistic and leadership behaviors).

Ellen Van Stichel, Ph.D. (Catholic University Leuven, 2010), is Assistant Professor of Christian Social and Political Ethics at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the KU Leuven, Belgium. In 2010 she obtained her doctorate in Theology with a dissertation entitled “Out of Love for Justice: Moral Philosophy and Catholic Social Thought on Global Duties.” In 2012, this dissertation was awarded the five-yearly Mgr. Arthur Janssen Prize for Christian Ethics. Her research focuses on the question how theology can contribute to social issues. Themes such as (global) inequality, poverty and social exclusion are investigated from the perspective of Christian social thought and the question of human flourishing. She recently published “Change Request for the Economy: The Economy of Communion as an Example,” in Post-Corona Economy: Can We Learn from the Religious Sector?, ed. H. Geybels (VUB Press, 2022).


A limited number of rooms are available at € 65,- (breakfast included). You can make your reservation through the conference application form.

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