Homo Amans

Is man essentially a selfish homo economicus? Or do we belong to the homo amans: a being determined by faith, hope and love aimed at a dignified economy?

In large parts of society the image of man as homo economicus predominates. According to this view of man, people mainly want to satisfy their own needs. The latest scientific insights, however, call into question this. For example, people also have a strong need for social contact and sense of purpose.

The need for relationships, meaning and hope for the future is not only a basic need of individuals. Incorporating these characteristics is also essential for the transition to a sustainable and inclusive society. The foundations of that society are namely good contact with the earth and human relationships based on trust.

Predominant view of humanity
Perhaps it is time to replace the dominant image of the homo economicus with another image of humanity: the homo amans (the loving human being). A follow-up phase of this project aims to engage top international researchers to explore the scientific foundation of this view of humanity.

In the current, first phase, scientists from the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics (ILSE) in Leuven the research questions for the final scientific research. In it, the human being is examined from philosophy, theology / religious studies, economics, psychology, neurology and sociobiology as a being that is driven by faith, hope and love.

During the first, preparatory phase of this project, ILSE scientists formulate the research questions for the international research of the second phase. The ultimate goal is to investigate how a relational view of mankind can help to achieve a sustainable and inclusive economy.

Prof. dr. Patrick Nullens Professor of Systematic Theology, Evangelical Theological Faculty of Leuven