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The corona crisis as an opportunity for improved relationships between people and with nature

Published: 24th March 2021 Last updated: 25th March 2021

The corona crisis teaches us that perfectibility is illusory and that people cannot do without communities. Ideally, that dawning awareness of human fragility makes us more modest and opens up our eyes to justice and mercy. These lessons may eventually motivate us to give each other the time of day, to increase our willingness to share, and to understand that our limited abilities and our thirst for growth threaten our planet. That is the thesis of the recently published book Nothing in Excess. Re-evaluating Nature, the Economy and Life post Corona, written by Prince Carlos de Bourbon Parma, Professor of Theology Paul van Geest, and Professor Emeritus of Economics Sylvester Eijffinger.

In this interdisciplinary essay, the authors set out their vision on new, more equal relationships between people and with nature in the post-corona era, and they present their vision from theological and socio-economic perspectives.

The pandemic should emphatically not be viewed as divine retribution visited upon humankind for its wayward acts; rather, it should be seized as an opportunity for making the world a better place. That outlook may serve to counter widespread feelings of insecurity, mutual distrust, and fear for our future – fear that partly springs from the notion of being in control of our own lives and of the planet.

Despair begets self-destruction, church father Augustine contends, and we must guard against it. That feeling of despondency may be overcome by directing our attention towards the needs of our fellow human beings and of nature. To see the pandemic as a social turning point, a moment of opportunity, is to create hope once more.

About the authors

Prince Carlos de Bourbon Parma is Director of Compazz, an independent foundation that aims to accelerate the circular economy and sustainable innovation. Paul van Geest is Professor at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology and at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Sylvester Eijffinger is Professor Emeritus at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management and Visiting Professor at Harvard University.

Nothing in Excess - boekcover

Note to editors

Nothing in Excess is published by Wolfpublishers, For more information and interviews, please contact the press officers of Tilburg University at or at +31 (0)6 19678521. The book is the extended English-language version of the book Wat is wijsheid? (What Is Wisdom?) published by Adveniat (6 editions).