Economics, Christianity & The Crisis: Towards a New Architectonic Critique


VU-University Amsterdam. De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Economics, Christianity & The Crisis: Towards a New Architectonic Critique - First Amsterdam Kuyper Seminar, The Netherlands, January 8-9, 2013

For proposals for papers, registration and information please contact prof. dr. Govert Buijs (VU-Amsterdam, NL) 

VU Bibliotheek


Congres / Symposium

The 2008 credit crisis is not only a crisis in economics, but also a crisis in the basic concepts and assumptions that underlie our thinking about economics, economics as a science. Critical analyses are called for of both economic practices and economic theory. New concepts and paradigms are needed. 
The first Kuyper Seminar Amsterdam aims at exploring what resources the Christian tradition has to offer for developing a sustainable and just economy of the future.  

As a starting point for the workshop we take Kuyper’s famous lecture on the social problem (1891). As Kuyper found himself called to give a timely response to his situation, launching an ‘architectonic critique’, Christians today are called to give their response to the present situation. What would a Christian response to the present crisis in economics look like? The Seminar is a search for new answers to new problems.

We would like to invite papers, esp. from young scholars and from people who are engaged in the economic sector, on the following subthemes
General analysis of the credit crisis in terms of Christian ethics and/or a Christian worldview
General analysis of foundational issues in economic science from a Christian perspective: what is economics all about?
Specific analysis of certain key developments in recent years, e.g. banking crisis, business ethics, the role of externalities in economic action and economic theory 

Proposals (approximately 500 words) should be sent to  by Oktober 15th 2012. You will be notified of acceptance before November 1st.
The language of the conference will be English.

Organizing committee
prof. dr. Govert Buijs (VU-Amsterdam, NL), prof. dr. George Harinck (Historic Documentation Centre Dutch Protestantism, VU-Amsterdam,  NL), dr. Peter Heslam (Cambridge, UK), dr. Roel Jongeneel (Wageningen, NL), dr. Martin de Wit (Stellenbosch, SA).

Prof. dr. Bob Goudzwaard (em. VU-Amsterdam), prof. dr. Johan Graafland (Tilburg University).

The aim of the workshop is to have the best papers published in a peer-reviewed volume, to be published in the fall of 2013 by VU-University Press, both in print and via open access.

General purpose of the Amsterdam Kuyper-seminars

  • To bring together scholars and practitioners, who – without accepting all his viewpoints – are inspired by Abraham Kuyper’s vision of an integral Christian worldview and especially by his vision of an ‘architectonic critique of modern society’, in order to reflect on contemporary issues.
  • To focus particularly on the encounter and exchange between young scholars and practitioners on the one hand and older, more experienced scholars and practitioners on the other hand. The workshops therefore provide a somewhat ‘tutorial’ setting.
  • Although the focus of the seminars is on the resources that the Christian tradition provides for analyzing modern society, people from other backgrounds and traditions are welcome to join the quest.
  • To make the results of the workshop available for the wider academic and non-academic community, by publishing the results of the workshops in a peer-reviewed volume (preferably as a special issue of a journal), both in print and via open access resources.

The conference registration fee is €  40, -.
Seminar places must be reserved by email ( by November 15th.
Maximum participation is set on 40 participants.

Location and Accommodation
The conference will be held at
VU-University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV  Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Participants are responsible for finding their own accommodation.