Skip to content

Laszlo Zsolnai’s 60th Anniversary in Leuven

On May 24, 2018 as part of the European SPES Annual Conference a special session and a gala dinner were organized to celebrate Laszlo Zsolnai’s 60th Anniversary in Leven, Belgium. In the special session Luk Bouckaert (Catholic University of Leuven), Zsolt Boda (Corvinus University of Budapest), Knut Ims (NHH Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen) and Peter Rona (University of Oxford) addressed the works of Laszlo Zsolnai. They presented the book “Art, Spirituality and Economics. Liber Amicorum for Laszlo Zsolnai” (edited by Luk Bouckaert, Knut Ims and Peter Rona, Springer, 2018).

During the gala dinner in the Faculty Club of University of Leuven Peter Pruzan (Copenhagen Business School), Nel Hofstra (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Manas Chatterji (Binghamton University) greeted Laszlo Zsolnai and recalled joint activities and projects with him.

In his response Laszlo Zsolnai recalled the Buddhist concept of “anatta” (no self ) which suggests that the self is not important, even it does not exist. But if the self is not important, then, – he asked – what is important? He suggested that friendship is important and it is worthy to be celebrated. Perhaps friendship is the highest quality of human relationship that we can achieve in this material world. Aristotle described perfect friendship as individuals recognize each other as good characters, spend time with each other, and engage in activities that exercise virtues.

In Zsolnai’s view the European SPES Institute is a society of friends working on a noble cause, that is, promoting the primacy of the spiritual over the material, and making a contribution to the flourishing of life (including human, non-human and future life) in different fields of social activities such as economics, business, politics, and art. So it is worthy to celebrate this kind of friendship.