Time, Money and God: Antwerp Summer University

Upcoming Summer University at the University of Antwerp, July 4-8, 2022, on the ethical, metaphysical and religious aspects of the usury debate in relationship to sustainable finance.

Contemporary discussions on the ethics of finance and the prospects of more sustainable banking systems surface on regular occasions, not just at the edge of the financial system but also at its core. It is not just a Western concern as the rapid rise of Islamic banking proves. In its origin, many of these concerns with finance have a religious background, but today what might have seemed like unnecessary religious fetters in the secular world of finance have become general concerns because of the ongoing financial, economic and environmental crises. 

This summer school returns to the historical roots of the criticism of the financial system and looks at the usury debate from the contemporary perspective of banking and economic decision making on long term horizons. What can the contemporary debate learn from the moral and theological frameworks that were employed in the usury debate? The summer school offers an interdisciplinary program aimed at untangling the moral, economical, metaphysical and theological dimensions of that debate. Many of these arguments come back in the contemporary Islamic discussion on usury and play a strong part in discussions about things as diverse as nuclear energy, climate change and our relation to future generations. 

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