Department of Business Humanities and Law

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

Public Seminar with professor Hans Joas

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 14:30 to 16:30

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

Public seminar with Professor Hans Joas, who is a sociologist and social philosopher. He is an associative member of the Max Weber Kolleg, Erfurt; a Permanent Fellow of the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), School of History, and Professor for Sociology and member of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Since 2014, he is the Ernst Troeltsch Professor in the Sociology of Religion at the Theological Faculty of Berlin’s Humboldt University. Joas’ work has been honoured by many international academic associations. Amongst others, he is the receiver of the Bielefeld Luhmann Prize (2010), the Werner Heisenberg Medal (2012), the Max Planck Research Award (2015), and the Prix Paul Ricœur (2017). 

For many decades, Hans Joas’ work has revolved around the nature of the sacred and around Émile Durkheim’s insight that the sacred and sacrality on the one hand, and religion on the other, first need to be analytically distinguished in order to discuss matters of political and economic theology.  
In his latest book, entitled ‘The Power of the Sacred’, Joas continues this work and attempts to demystify ‘disenchantment’. In order to do so, the author dedicates himself to exemplary cases of scientific engagement with religion since the 18th century. In a direct confrontation with Max Weber, Joas develops the outline of a theory that can satisfy religion’s potential to support existing power structures, as well as critique them. In place of a view of history as an inexorable, progressive process of disenchantment, Joas posits the idea of a field of tension between dynamics of sacralisation, its reflexive breaking-apart, and the dangers of its assimilation into processes of the building up of power structures. This includes challenges – for believers as well as for secular minds.

‘The Power of the Sacred’ was published by Suhrkamp in Germany in October 2017, and will appear in English in 2019 (with Oxford University Press). Between 6th and 8th November, Professor Joas is a guest lecturer for the PhD course on ‘Markets and Governance in a Post-Secular Society’ , and this public seminar is hosted by the organizers of the course.  

For further information please contact:
Stefan Schwarzkopf, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018, 14:30-16:30
Copenhagen Business School
Seminar room: PH 118
Porcelænshaven 16B, 2000  Frederiksberg

The page was last edited by: Department of Business Humanities and Law // 11/05/2018