HYBRID EVENT: The 3rd SCAS Wittrock Lecture: Hans Joas "Moral Change and the Ambiguity of Religions: Christianity Between Racism and the Struggle Against It"

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: SCAS Linnéanum, Thunbergssalen, Thunbergsvägen 2, Uppsala
  • Lecturer: Hans Joas, Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Professor of Sociology and Social Thought, University of Chicago
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Föreläsning

Hans Joas, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and University of Chicago, gives a talk on "Moral Change and the Ambiguity of Religions: Christianity Between Racism and the Struggle Against It". The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

Abstract

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s led to significant moral change in the United States. The same is true for its predecessor, the abolitionist movement in the 19th century. Both movements were deeply influenced by Christian convictions and actors. But could not the same be said about the other side of the conflicts, the defenders of slavery and the proponents of racial segregation? Had not Christianity, despite its morally universalist message, always accommodated itself to the institution of slavery? This lecture attempts to offer a sociological explanation for the relative success of these morally motivated social movements. In this connection, the main focus will be on their “prophetic” features. From this particular case study, some generalizing conclusions regarding the complex interplay of “religious” and “moral” traditions will be drawn. Neither religious nor secular traditions prove to be as unambiguous as their proponents often pretend.

About Hans Joas

Hans Joas is Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Professor of Sociology and Social Thought at University of Chicago. For many years, he was a Non-resident Long-term Fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study. From 1990 to 2002 he was Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin and from 2002 to 2011 Director of the Max-Weber-Kolleg in Erfurt. He had visiting professorships at the universities of Toronto, Madison (Wisconsin), New York (New School for Social Research), Uppsala, Vienna, and Gothenburg. Among his most important recent book publications in English are Faith as an Option. Possible Futures for Christianity (Stanford University Press 2014), The Sacredness of the Person. A New Genealogy of Human Rights (Georgetown University Press 2013), War in Social Thought. Hobbes to the Present (with W. Knoebl, Princeton University Press 2013), and The Power of the Sacred. An Alternative to the Narrative of Disenchantment (Oxford University Press 2021). He holds honorary doctorates from Universität Tübingen and Uppsala University. Among his numerous awards are the Max Planck Research Award 2015 and the Prix Paul Ricoeur 2017.

The lecture will also be available via Zoom Webinar.

Registration is required by 3 June 2022 at the latest.

For more information and registration to the physical event as well as the webinar, please see http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Events.html.