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Economics and Religion

International Conference "Economics and Religion" (58-60 Galernaya Street).

In the previous two years, the conferences of the Center for the Study of Economic Culture (St. Petersburg State University) were devoted to such global issues as the economic culture of modern capitalism and the role of values and interests in the economy. The sphere of economic relations was treated as a part of individuals’ cultural activity. A wide range of issues have been discussed: the cultural dimensions of the economy; the origins of the institutions of modernity; the economics of happiness; methods of qualitative analysis; the role of values, ideology, morality, aesthetics in economic theory; art markets; economic culture of different epochs and countries.

One of the most important aspects of economic culture is the relationship of economy and religion. To raise this issue is to revise the well-known thesis of secularization, which was obvious to Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Freud. Paradoxically, the world has never seen more people with traditional religious beliefs than at the present time. Moreover in the world’s largest economy, the USA, the trend toward secularization is weaker. Higher level of happiness is found in Latin America, where there are more believers. It is important to analyze the impact of economic ethics of various religions on the formation of modern capitalism; to investigate reasons of economic success of religious minorities; and to track down the impact of theology and religion on the formulation of the basic terms and concepts of the economic theory.

The main topics of the conference:

  • Religious economic ethics and the origins of modern capitalism (from Weber to modern analyses of the issue, the influence of religion on the level of education, literacy and happiness, the Jesuits in Latin America, Confucianism and "the economic miracle" in Asia).
  • Economic ethics of monotheistic religions (attitude to work, wealth, money in Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
  • Theology and economic theory (scholasticism and the formation of the basic terminology of economic theory, the influence of theology on the works by Genovese, Galiani, Malthus, Smith, Pososhkov and others).
  • The role of religious minorities in economic development: a new understanding (Jews in Europe, Protestants and Old Believers in Russia, the Jainists in India, Mormons, Mennonites and Quakers in North America).
  • Economics of religious life (rational choice theory, the new institutional economic theory, macroeconomic panel research in the study of religion).
  • Economic theory as a matter of faith and religious worship.
  • Religious practices in market and planned economy.


June 6 (Friday)

09:30-10:00am – Conference opening - aud.223.

  • Alexey Kudrin, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Danila Raskov. Economy and religion: perspectives of research

10:00-11:30am – "Economic Theory and Religion". Moderator – Danila Raskov

  • Robert Nelson (Professor at the School of Public Policy of the University of Maryland, USA) "Economics as Religion: A New Perspective on the Financial Crisis"
  • Paul Oslington (Professor of Economics and Dean of Business, Alphacrucis College, Sydney, Visiting Professor of Economics, Australian Catholic University) "Promise and Difficulties of the Dialogue between Economics and Religion"

11:30am-12:00pm – Coffee break

12:00-2:00pm – "Business Ethics of Christianity". Moderator – Mikhail Rumyantsev

  • Mikhail Rumiantsev (SPbSU, Russia) "Christian Anthropology and its Influence on the Economic Thought"
  • Sergey Lukin (Institute of business and technology management, Belarusian State University) "Christian Doctrine of the Value of Material Goods"
  • Bruce Chilton (Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion. Bard College, Annandale, New York) "Jesus and the Politics of Taxation"

2:00-3:00pm – Lunch

3:00-5:00pm – Parallel Sessions

1 A. "Capitalism and Socialism as a Religion" - aud.223. Moderator – Chronis Polychroniou 

  • Sergey Fokin (SPbSU, UNECON) "Аbout the Origins of and Prospects of the Economic Ideas of Walter Benjamin (To the Genealogy of the Article 'Capitalism as Religion')"
  • Andrey Zaostrovtsev (NRU HSE, SPb), Yaroslava Shyryaeva (Institute of economics and Law named after Fridrich von Hayek, SPb) "Marxism-Leninism as Religion: The Case of Soviet Political Economy"
  • John Taylor (SPbSU, Russia) "How Neoliberal Economics Replaced Religion in Illinois Politics : Republicans Need a New Rhetoric about Virtue, and They Turned to Neoliberal Economics"

1 B. "Islamic Economic Doctrine and Islamic Model of Economy" - aud.152. Moderator – Renat Bekkin 

  • Andrey Juravliov (Economic faculty, MSU) "Translation of the Islamic Economic Doctrine into Contemporary Financial Practice: Evolution or Conflict"
  • Naida Aliyeva (KFU, Kazan) "Wealth and Money in Islam"
  • Islam Zaripov (Center of Islamic Studies, Academy of Sciences) "Economic Problems in the Teaching of Tatar Muslim Reformers of the Early 20th Century"
  • Dmitriy Pavlov (FLAS, SPbSU) "Iran's Experience in Implementation of Islamic Economy Model"

1 C. "Economy and Religion: General Issues" - aud.154. Moderator – Denis Kadochnikov 

  • Grigoriy Tulchinskiy (NRU HSE) "Religion as an Institutional Factor of a Rallying Ties and Trust"
  • Ivan Rozmainskiy (FLAS, SPbSU; NRU HSE) "Dechristianization and the Economic Institutions of Contemporary Capitalism"
  • Pavel Lukichev (St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts) "Sustainable Development as the Religion of the Third Millennium"
  • Andrey Sosnilo (Financial University of the Government of Russia) "Sore Points of Public Administration in Consumer Society, Conflicts of Values and Vices"

5:00-5:30pm – Coffee break

5:30-7:30pm – "Religion, Ethics, Language" - aud.223. Moderator – Alexandr Dubyanskiy 

  • Victor Ryazanov (Professor of SPbSU) "Religious Ethics and 'Anthropological Revolution'"
  • Adrian Pabst (University of Kent, UK) "'A Habitual Disposition to the Good' (Aristotle): Economy of Virtue and Honour"
  • Denis Kadochnikov (FLAS, SPbSU) "Policy Towards the Church Slavonic Language and Religious Literature in the Context of Peter the Great’s Strategy of Socio-Economic Modernization of Russia"

7:30pm – Official buffet

June 7 (Saturday)

10:00-11:30am – "Islamic Economy" - aud.223. Moderator – Andrey Juravliov

  • Renat Bekkin (Institute of Africa of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) "Is it Possible to Implement Islamic Economic Model in a Particular State?"
  • Rodney Wilson (Emeritus Professor, Durham University, UK) "Does Islamic Banking Provide for a More Just Financial System?"

11:30am-12:00pm – Coffee break

12:00-1:00pm – "Theology and Economics". Moderator – Andrey Vorobiev

  • Rustem Nureyev (Financial University of the Government of Russia, NRU HSE) "Medieval Scholasticism as a Method of World Knowledge"
  • Mikhail Shishkin (Economic Faculty, SPbSU) "Theological Elements in Economic Theory: Historical Retrospective"

1:00-2:00pm – "The Church and economic practice". Moderator – Leonid Shirokorad

  • Marianna Shakhnovich (SPbSU, Russia) "'The Agrarian Question' and Anticlericalism in Russia in the First Quarter of the 20th Century"
  • Mikhail Shkarovskiy (Central state historical archive, SPb, Russia) "Economic Activities of Alexander Nevsky Lavra in 20th Century"

2:00-3:00pm – Lunch

3:00-4:30pm – Parallel sessions

2 A. “Theology and Economics” - aud.223. Moderator – Rustem Nureyev

  • Alexandr Marey (NRU HSE, Faculty of Philosophy) "Between Power and Property: a Concept of Dominium in the Theological-political Theory of Francisco de Vitoria"
  • Maxim Markov (Economic Faculty, SPbSU) "Great Architect, Natural Order and Adam Smith’s Economic System"
  • Alexandr Dubyanskiy (SPbSU) "Religious Aspects of Usury as an Economic Concept"

2 B. "Old Believers: Business Ethics and Economic Role" - aud.152. Moderator – Alexandr Chuviurov

  • Kirill Lapitskiy (SPbSU, Faculty of Philosophy) "Old Belief and Economic Activity: Attempts to Interpret"
  • Alexandr Prigarin (Odessa National University, Ukraine) "Traditions and Innovations in Economic Culture of Lipovans: Evidence from Field Study"
  • Danila Raskov (FLAS, SPbSU), Vadim Kufenko (University of Hohenheim, Germany) "The Role of Old Believers in Moscow Nineteenth Century Textile Industry: What is the Evidence?"

2 C. "Economic Anthropology and Religion" - aud.154. Moderator – Alexandr Panchenko

  • Olesya Kuznetsova, Ekaterina Grishayeva (Boris Yeltsin Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg) "Alternative Spirituality: women practices"
  • Anastasiya Domanskaya (Belarusian State University) "Evangelical Christians in Polesye: the Phenomenon of the Agro-town Olshany"
  • Alexandr Skorobogatov (NRU HSE) "Media and Religious Affiliation: Case of Pussy Riot Performance"
  • Tatiana Shishkina (SPbSU, Economic Faculty) "Religion and Economy as a United Social Institute"

4:40-6:10pm – Parallel sessions

3 A. "Economics and the Problem of Salvation" - aud.223. Moderator – Sergey Lukin

  • Konstantin Golubev (SPbSU, Economic Faculty) "Problems of Economic Ethics in the Age of Globalization in Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclicals"
  • Valeriy Dymshitz (FLAS, SPBSU) "Monetary Conception of Sin and Virtue in the Traditional Mentality of the East European Jews"
  • Yuriy Akimov (Faculty of International Relations, SPbSU) "Salvation of Pagans and Colonial Economy in North America and Siberia (16th - 18th centuries)"

3 B. "Faith and Prosperity: 'Spiritual Economics' of Modern Religious Cultures" - aud.152. Moderator – Sergey Shtyrkov

  • Alexandr Panchenko (RAS, SPbSU, EUSPb) "Money, Happiness and Transcendental: Economic Imagination and New Religious Movements"
  • Sergey Shtyrkov (EUSPb, RAS) "Protestant Entrepreneurship as a Historical Phenomenon and a Category of Commoners’ Imagination"
  • Zhanna Kormina (NRU HSE SPb, EUSPb) "Price of a Prayer: Political Economy of Modern Orthodoxy"

3 C. "Economics and Religion in the Mirror of Arts" - aud.154. Moderator – Sergey Fokin

  • Arseniy Tarabanov (FLAS, SPbSU) "Gelt est verbum Diaboli?"
  • Vera Gushina (Voronezh State University) "J. Ruskin and W. Morris as Creative Industries’ Predecessors"
  • Alexandr Pogrebnyak (FLAS, SPbSU) "Economic Theology of Nikolay Gogol"

68:10-6:30pm – Coffee break

6:30-7:30pm – "Theology, Ethics and Political Economy". Moderator – Danila Raskov

  • Tatiana Koval (NRU HSE, Moscow, Russia) "Wealth and Property in Patristic Heritage"
  • Federico d’Onofrio (Duke University, USA) "Visible hands: God, the Sovereign, and Providence in Genovesi and the Italian Enlightenment"