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How religious is the idea of constant economic growth?

Today we find ourselves in a confusing situation: On the one hand, our economies are being stretched to their limits due to the paradigm of eternal economic growth. We also recognise that the global economic inequality causes an increasing number of conflicts that cannot be solved adequately by neoliberal economic policies. On the other hand, politics and the media are full of statements that stress the importance of economic effectiveness and unlimited entrepreneurial freedom which are seen as fundamental for a better future.

As many of those economic convictions cannot be proven by empirical data or can even be easily refuted, Tomáš Sedláček's lecture, The Divine Economy, illustrates the extent to which economic growth thinking has to be considered as a myth rather than a scientific theory.

Copyright: Kulturstiftung des Bundes

The lecture has been done by Sedláček as a keynote speech for the conference Trial of Faith organised by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in June 2015 (see here for the English programme).

A lot of recent publications on (post) growth societies can also be found on the pages of the DFG Research Group Landnahme, Acceleration, Activation. Dynamics and (De)stabilisation of modern growth societies. The research group’s programme addresses the sociological diagnosis of a series of social changes and crisis phenomena which, in their entirety, question the growth-based regime of modern societies.