Cultural Impact of the Reformation: Section I.2

Protestantism and Science. Reason and Rationalities

Jörg Dierken and Martin Laube


Tuesday, 8th of August 2017, Leucorea, Seminar room 3

2.30–3.15 p.m. Jan-Martin Lies: Autoritätenkonflikt und Identitätssuche. Die Entstehung einer neuen Streitkultur im Zuge der Reformation

3.30–4.15 p.m. Friedemann Stengel: ›Sola scriptura‹ im Kontext. Behauptung und Bestreitung des reformatorischen Schriftprinzips

4.30–5.15 p.m. Saskia Gehrmann: »Pietistische Medizin« als Produkt der ›Marke Waisenhaus‹


Wednesday, 9th of August 2017, Leucorea, Seminar room 3

2.30–3.15 p.m. Malte Dominik Krüger: Ist der Protestantismus eine denkende Religion?

3.30–4.15 p.m. Tomasz Sodeika: Die Geburt der Religionswissenschaft aus dem Geiste der Reformation. Martin Luther und Rudolf Otto

4.30–5.15 p.m. Marianne Schröter: Theologie als Wissenschaft. Theorien der Religion um 1920

5.30–6.15 p.m. Stefan Lang: Performative Vernunft


Thursday, 10th of August 2017, Leucorea, Seminar room 3

2.30–3.15 p.m. Sebastian Böhm: Luthers Kant-Kritik und Hegels Übergang von der Vorstellung zum Begriff

3.30–4.15 p.m. Melanie Sterba: ›Hate speech‹. Martin Luther mit Judith Butler lesen

4.30–5.15 p.m. Valentina Surace: »Lutero qui genuit Heidegger«


The focus on scripture in the Reformation (›sola scriptura‹), which represented a challenge to the Roman authorities, caused a significant increase in philological and historical research. Relations between Protestantism and science unfold with many impacts on society and science, extending into the structure and rationality of modern natural sciences. In contrast, the Reformation’s verdicts against Aristotelian and scholastic reason and philosophy terminologically constrained the human conscience to God and human activity to the world.

Things changed with the Enlightenment’s manifold critique of confessional life. This critique created a productive tension between the Reformation’s emphasis on ›heart‹ and ›conscience‹ and a new foundation of knowledge and activity. The ›Sattelzeit‹, with its swing to modernity empowering the subject, transformed many impulses of the Reformation into epoch-making patterns of reason (e. g. the transformation of a Christian model of liberty into modern autonomy). In contrast, a discussion began over whether the inward-looking nature (›Innerlichkeit‹) of protestant piety drifts into a maelstrom of reason submerging piety, or if by the opposite reason, vested in an inner unity of the subject is just a concealed theological thought. This discussion led to the concept of reason itself becoming problematic at many levels. Key ideas are: alienation and critique of religion, irrational apotheosis of life and naturalistic reduction of conscience, a turn towards the phenomena and deconstruction of the subject. Several turns within the cultural sciences may be added.

The section asks whether a unity of reason can be found at all in the modern variety of rationalities, but mainly, whether questions about what entails reason have to be asked in new ways. Perhaps Hegel’s thesis about Protestantism being a ›thinking religion‹ can give the discussion a new momentum. Consequentially, the question arises as to in which forms and paradigms (communication, transversality, performativity) this kind of thinking will take shape today and which impact this will have – or not have – on religion.

Kulturelle Wirkungen der Reformation

7 to 11 August 2017

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