Halle Lectures

With Prof. Dr. Georg Bertram (Berlin) - Things in conflict. For a Hermeneutics of improvisation

Research into the 18th century plays a prominent role in Halle, both at the university's research centres and in the Francke Foundations. This research is carried out in the awareness that we are working on the foundations of modern society and that, together with history, we are always questioning a piece of our present critically and thus 'enlightening' it. Recently, the authoritative nature of the Enlightenment has come under criticism in both academic and social debates. How much overconfidence does proponent of the Enlightenment claim to have? Isn't the Enlightenment - like the Christian-pietist mission - despite the universality it claims, a particular project that has strengthened rather than challenged the supremacy of Europe? How much are the critical procedures, the anthropological models and the political ideals of the 18th century still good in a time in which particularistic and nationalistic tendencies seem to spread rapidly? In order to investigate such questions, the Halle-based research institutions, which are centrally concerned with the 18th century, have launched a new series of events. Every year, two outstanding, internationally renowned scientists are asked to present their views on research into the 18th century and its significance in the context of the current world situation. Historical foundations and contemporary problems are to be combined, as well as local, national, European and global perspectives. The lectures are aimed at researchers and students as well as the wider public.

A cooperation of

  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Research (IZP)
  • Francke Foundations in Halle
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of the European Enlightenment (IZEA)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Modern Times
  • Written culture and European knowledge transfer
  • National research focus »Enlightenment - Religion - Knowledge«


Thursday, 11/26/2020

Things in conflict. For a Hermeneutics of improvisation

Prof. Dr. Georg W. Bertram (Berlin)
According to current theories, the intellectual situation of contemporary societies is characterized by comprehensive aestheticization, digitalization and postcolonialism. This suggests that individuals and things are permeated by comprehensive discursive contexts that determine them. Does this mean that we have lost things and their independent expression? How can we think against such an impending loss? In this sense, I plead for our practice to be understood as marked by improvisation and conflict. In a practice understood in this way, the expression of things gains a right of its own. What is called for is a Hermeneutics that understands how we develop in our practices on things.
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Auditorium Löwengebäudes, Universitätsplatz 10