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Rebalancing Material and Spiritual Values in Economic Life


Luk Bouckaert, Hendrik Opdebeeck and Laszlo Zsolnai

This book examines frugality as an ideal and an ‘art de vivre’ which implies a low level of material consumption and a simple lifestyle, to open the mind for spiritual goods as inner freedom, social peace and justice or the quest for God or ‘ultimate reality’. By rational choice we can develop a more frugal and sufficient way of life, but material temptations can always overwrite our ecological, social and ethical considerations. But the spiritual case for frugality is strong enough. Spiritually based frugal practices may lead to rational outcomes such as reducing ecological destruction, social disintegration and the exploitation of future generations.
Contents: Luk Bouckaert/Hendrik Opdebeeck/Laszlo Zsolnai: Why Frugality – Luk Bouckaert: Rational versus Spiritual Concepts of Frugality – Rafael Esteban: Frugality and the Body – Francis Kadaplackal: How the Idea ‘Created Co-Creator’ Can Contribute to the Nurturing of Frugality in Economic Life – Laurie Michaelis: Quaker Simplicity – Dirk Geldof: Overconsumption – Ronald Commers/Wim Vandekerckhove: Frugality and the Moral Economy of Late Capitalism – Knut Ims/Ove Jacobsen: Consumerism and Frugality: Contradictory Principles in Economics? – Hendrik Opdebeeck: The Urgency of a Frugality-based Economics – Herman E. Daly: Frugality First – Ronald Jeurissen/Bert van de Ven: Frugal Marketing: Can Selling Less Make Business Sense? – Robert H. Frank: The Progressive Consumption Tax – Laszlo Zsolnai: Buddhist Economic Strategy.