Cooperation at the »Halle Lectures«

The lettering Halle Lectures on the poster for the event series

Research into the 18th century plays a prominent role in Halle, both at the university's research centres and at the Francke Foundations. This research is carried out in the awareness that we are working on the foundations of modern society and, with history, always critically questioning and thus ›enlightening‹ a part of our present. In recent times, the authoritativeness of the Enlightenment has come under criticism in both academic and social debates. How much self-overestimation is involved in the Enlightenment's claim? Isn't the Enlightenment, like the Christian-Pietist claim to reform and the mission associated with it, despite the universality it claims, a particularistic project that has strengthened rather than challenged the supremacy of Europe? How much are the critical procedures, the anthropological guiding principles and the political ideals of the 18th century still of use in a time when particularistic and nationalistic tendencies seem to be spreading rapidly?

To explore such questions, the Halle-based research institutions on the 18th century launched the »Halle Lectures« in 2018. Every year, two outstanding, internationally renowned scientists are asked to present their views on the study of the 18th century and its significance in the context of the current world situation. Historical foundations and contemporary problematisation are to be combined with local, national, European and global perspectives. The lectures are aimed at researchers and students as well as the wider public.

A cooperation of the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of the European Enlightenment (IZEA), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Research (IZP), the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Modern Written Culture and European Knowledge Transfer, the state research focus »Enlightenment – Religion – Knowledge« and the Francke Foundations.

Information on the next »Halle Lectures« on 24.05.2023 and 26.10.2023 can be found here.

The previous »Halle Lectures« can be accessed digitally at