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Tomas Sedlacek

Tomas Sedlacek
Tomas Sedlacek

(Czech Republic, 1977) has enjoyed a kind of popstar status since his 2009 book The Economy of Good and Evil became an international best-seller. In it, he argues that the economy cannot be put into mathematical formulas but emerges from our culture. To understand the economy, his argument draws on myths, religion, theology, philosophy, psychology, literature and film. In a nutshell, the economy is about good and evil. In his homeland, Sedlacek has evolved into a phenomenon; a theatre production based on his work draws full houses at the National Theatre in Prague. As a child, Sedlacek lived for nine years in Finland and Denmark. At age 24, during his studies at the Karels University in Prague, he became economic advisor to then-President Vaclav Havel. The economist, who calls himself a "Christian anarchist," currently works as a strategist with the Czech merchant bank CSOB and as a university lecturer.

(WU 2017)

Archive available for: Tomas Sedlacek

  • Winternachten 2017

    Reading the Bible with Sedlacek

    With: Babah Tarawally, Stevo Akkerman, Tomas Sedlacek

    Reading the Bible with Sedlacek promises to be a highly inspiring experience: a meeting plus lecture plus dialogue with the world-famous macro-economist Tomas Sedlacek about the extremely fascinating relationship between the economy and Bible stories. With the audience he will discuss Genesis chapters 2 and 3, Job chapter 1 and Luke chapter 15. To prepare yourself for the discussion, you can download them as pdf here. The programme is in English. Babah Tarawally, writer and columnist, reads the Bible stories selected by Sedlacek. Stevo Akkerman, writer and journalist for Trouw daily newspaper, will introduce Tomas Sedlacek.

    In an interview published in Trouw newspaper in early 2016, Sedlacek said the following about economy and faith: "Something must have gone wrong with creation, because even though Adam had a relationship with God, he felt lonely. He needed a helper. Thus there were already cracks in the creation process - which has enormous theological implications."

    But is this also related to the economy?
    "Yes, because the conclusion is this: even if one places a person in an ideal setting, he will still not be happy. We carry within us an existential feeling of imperfection, which explains our urge to consume - it is meant to fill the void. This feeling of imperfection is independent of the political and economic system in which we live (...) A belief in the idea that people can be defined by numbers, that the meaning of life is the satisfaction of needs and the meaning of business is maximizing profit - these are irrefutably moral notions. And together they form a new religion."

    Tomas Sedlacek is known for his clear, associative and sparkling ideas. He convincingly combines economic phenomena with, for example, religious insights, myths and philosophy.

    Sedlacek (Czech Republic, 1977) enjoys a kind of pop-star status since his 2009 book The Economy of Good and Evil became an international best-seller. In it, he argues that the economy cannot be summed up in mathematical formulae but emerges from our culture. To understand the economy, his arguments draws on myths, religion, theology, philosophy, psychology, literature and film. In a nutshell, the economy is about good and evil. "Brilliantly written," commented Samuel Brittan of the Financial Times. "You just keep on reading."

  • Winternachten 2017 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Winternachten lecture: Fiction in Fake Times

    What is real, what is fake? And yet it's the fabrications that can provide insight into the world in which we live. The Anglo-Dutch Michel Faber, who kicks off the evening with the Winternachten Lecture about reality and fantasy, creates a future world in his novels, just like Dutch writer Hanna Bervoets. Czech economist TomᚠSedláček sees parallels between economics and old myths, and Mircea Cărtărescu, also a translator of Bob Dylan lyrics, filled his trilogy about Communist Romania with mythical escapes from reality. Moderator: Lex Bohlmeijer.