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Can Transcendence be Organized? The Catholic Church Between Universalism and Establishment

Wed, Oct 24 at 4:30pm
Swift Hall, Common Room
1025 E 58th St,
Chicago, IL 60637
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Hans JoasUniversity of Chicago

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Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the Committee on Social Thought and the Theology Club.

If a religion differentiates itself from the culture of specific peoples, states, or empires and represents the ideal of moral universalism and an understanding of transcendence, it cannot evade the problem of self-organization. While this is true of all "post-axial" religions, this lecture restricts itself to the Christian Church and other forms of the social organization of Christians (sect, denomination etc.). A comparison between the Catholic Church and these other forms and an understanding of their interaction in the history of Christianity is instructive with regard to the current debates about reforms in the Catholic Church.

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.