The Power of the Sacred: An Alternative to the Narrative of Disenchantment

Oct 26, 2017
Swift Hall, 3rd Floor Lecture
1025 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Hans JoasUniversity of Chicago

Free and open to the public

Cosponsored by the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought

Disenchantment is one of the key concepts in the self-understanding of "modernity." It was introduced by Max Weber, but its precise meaning in his writings and in the discourse of modernity is quite controversial. This lecture is based on a new book in which Hans Joas traces this concept through Weber's writings, criticizes it in fundamental respects, and develops an alternative understanding of the connections between the history of power and the processes of sacralization.

Hans Joas is Visiting Professor of Sociology and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and the Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at the Humboldt University of Berlin. From 2011 until 2014 he was a Permanent Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS); from 2002 until 2011 he was the Director of the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt. Joas's books include The Timeliness of George Herbert Mead, Do We Need Religion? On the Experience of Self-Transcendence, The Creativity of Action, and Faith as an Option: Possible Futures for Christianity.