Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy

Elettra Stimilli: Debt and Guilt: Between Political and Economic Theology

Public lecture and seminar

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 11:00 to 13:00

Elletra Stimilli


Elettra Stimilli works at the Department of Philosophy at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. She is the author of Jacob Taubes (2004), The Debt of the Living (2017), and the co-editor, with Dario Gentili and Glenda Garelli, of Italian Critical Thought (2018). Her recent book is entitled Debt and Guilt (2019). 

The issue of debt and how it affects our lives is becoming more and more urgent. The ‘austerity’ model has been the prevalent European economic policy of recent years led by the ‘German model’. Elettra Stimilli draws upon contemporary philosophy, psychology and theology to argue that austerity is built on the idea that we somehow deserve to be punished and need to experience guilt in order to take full account of our economic sins. Following thinkers such as Max Weber, Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault, Debt and Guilt provides a startling examination of the relationship between contemporary politics and economics and how we structure our inner lives.

In a review of Stimilli’s recent book, Rebecca Comay (University of Toronto) wrote: “What a bracing, challenging, and compelling analysis and conceptual genealogy of the devastations of financial capitalism. Stimilli writes with clarity, eloquence, and brilliance. She not only shows how debt is the essential mechanism enabling the osmosis between the contemporary neoliberal state and the global financial market but also demonstrates the psychic, cultural and ultimately theological dimensions of debt in all its vicissitudes. This is essential reading for anyone who is trying to make sense of the current disaster.” 

Public Lecture with Elettra Stimilli: Debt and Guilt: a Political Philosophy

Monday, March 2nd, 16-18
CEMES, Copenhagen University
South Campus, Room 10.4.05
More info about event


Seminar with Elettra Stimilli: Debt and Guilt: Between Political and Economic Theology  

Tuesday, March 3rd, 11-13
Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, CBS, Frederiksberg
Porcelaenshaven 18A, Room 3.135
More info about event

The seminar centres on Stimilli’s recent book Debt and Guilt (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). The seminar begins with Professor Stimilli giving a presentation and an outline of her book. This is followed a brief response from a commentator, and an open discussion among participants. Please email Stefan Schwarzkopf ( to register for the seminar and obtain a copy of chapters 3 and 4 of the book.


The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy // 02/20/2020