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Spirituality and Economics

The paper on “Spirituality and Economics” by Laszlo Zsolnai was published in the Journal for the Study of Spirituality (2022, Vol. 12, No. 2).

The paper argues that mainstream economics is a materialist and reductionist science. It criticizes the core assumptions of mainstream economics – namely, the existence of “Homo Economicus” and the goals of profit-maximization, economic efficiency, and economic growth – and shows that these goals lead to an economy that is unhealthy for people and unsustainable on a planetary basis.

The paper makes a case for the development of a spiritually informed economics and suggests means of doing this: capturing the full spectrum of human existence, redefining economics as a science of the livelihood of people, promoting frugal production and consumption, and developing holistic measures of value and wellbeing. The paper concludes that by helping to create ecological and human economic practices and policies, spiritually informed economics can become a force for good in supporting the flourishing of life on Earth.