INTRODUCTION: TOWARDS A NEW ARCHITECTONIC CRITIQUE

In: Philosophia Reformata
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8-9 January 2013 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, a seminar took place bringing together people from various parts of the world, various disciplines, and various academic and non-academic professions — philosophers, economists, theologians, historians, social scientists as well as bankers, businessmen, investors and others — to analyze and discuss the economic crisis as it developed in the aftermath ofthe American financial crisis of 2008. An explicit goal was as well to bring together people from various generations, to facilitate and promote a true ‘intergenerational dialogue’. The title of the seminar was ‘Economics, Christianity & the Crisis: Towards a New Architectonic Critique’. More specifically, the aim of the seminar was to develop Christianly inspired reflections on the crisis. An insight that was foundational for the seminar was that the 2008 credit crisis not only was a crisis in the (financial and real) economy (as they may occur every two decades or so), but implied also a crisis in the basic concepts and assumptions that underlie our contemporary thinking about economics, economics as a science as well as economics as a social domain. The crisis, as it erupted and evolved, simultaneously raised urgent questions at the macro- or system-level, at the intermediate level of behavior of banks and corporations, and at the level of personal morality, the vices and virtues involved in business transactions.

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