Conference Speakers

Dr. Edy Korthals Altes

Born: 1924 , Vught, Netherlands.

After completion studies at Rotterdam School of Economics followed career in Foreign Service from 1951-1986. Served in:

  • New York;
  • Colombo;
  • Paris (Economic Committee of the OEEC);
  • The Hague;
  • Bonn (‘62-’67) Counsellor Press/Cultural Affairs;
  • Rome (’67-’70) Counsellor Economic Affairs;
  • Djakarta (’70- ’72) Deputy Head of Mission;
  • Brussels (’73- ’77) Deputy Permanent Representative European Communities;
  • Warsaw (’77-’80) Ambassador;
  • The Hague (‘80-’82) Head of Foreign Service;
  • Madrid (’83- ’86) Ambassador)
  • Voluntary resignation and honourable discharge in July ’86 in connection with public stand on arms race (in particular Starwars).

Since then active in Peace and Security, East- West relations, Third World problems, Inter-religious cooperation.

Former Functions

  • Chairman Section International Affairs- Netherlands Council of Churches
  • Vice Chairman Pugwash Netherlands
  • President World Conference of Religions for Peace(WCRP) New York 1994-1999. Vice- moderator Governing Board and member Executive Committee
  • Member EntwicklungsKammer Evangelische Kirche Deutschland (EKD) Hannover
  • Co-President of EECOD (European Ecumenical Commission on Development (Third World problems and EEC policies)- Brussels.

At Present

  • Honorary President World Conference of Religions for Peace(WCRP) New York
  • Founding Member of the SPES Forum (Spirituality in Economics and Society) University - Leuven (2005)


  • Mens of Marionet, Balans, Amsterdam, 1987.
  • Een dure keizer zonder kleren - over een achterhaald veiligheidsbeleid, Kok, Kampen, 1988.
  • Heart and Soul for Europe – An Essay on Spiritual Renewal, Van Gorcum, Assen, 1999.
  • Europa Ontwaak! - Over de noodzaak van spirituele vernieuwing, Damon 2001 (Second edition 2002).
  • Spiritualiteit- nieuw leven in een verdord Europa, (Titus Brandsma Lecture 2002). Valkhofpers, Nijmegen, 2002.


  • Religious Cooperation for the common good of mankind, Opening session 6 th World Assembly WCRP in Vatican, November 3 rd, 1994.
  • Europa fordert die Christen, Bibel Arbeit, 8th Synod Evangelischen Kirchen in Deutschland, Friedrichshafen, 7 November 1995.
  • A new heart for Europe- Challenge to religions, Eight Calamus Distinguished Lecture in Lambeth Palace 30/9/’96.
  • Religions in Europe for a Just and Sustainable Development, European Ecumenical Assembly- Graz, 26 June 1997.
  • Disarmament and Security, Plenary Session 7 th Assembly WCRP, Amman, 27 November 1999.
  • SPES Lecture (Spirituality in Economics and Society) at University in Leuven in 2002.
  • Samen voor Europa, Maaspoort 8 Mei, 2004- De roeping van Europa nu!

Paper to be presented at the conference

The relevance of the spiritual factor for a new approach to economics