National Contours for Moral Education: Germany

Moral Contours

General

Economy

Education

Health

Human Rights

Military Strength + Weapons Exports

Religion

Sustainable Development

Historical figures

ADORNO, Theodor
1903-69
Germany
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Sociologist and onetime musician engaging critically with popular culture and with its associated industry which he regarded as dulling of social and political sensitivities. Most frequently referred to in moral education because of his promotion of the term 'authoritarian personality'.

Life

http://www.iep.utm.edu/adorno

 

Writings

Minima Moralia http://www.efn.org/~dredmond/MinimaMoralia.html

Enlightenment as mass deception http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/adorno/1944/culture-industry.htm

Video

Theodor Adorno: music and protest (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-njxKF8CkoU

ARENDT, Hannah
1906-75
Germany + United States
PHILOSOPHY

 

A philosopher and social activist. Although her Jewish family background was secular, this provided no exemption from Nazi hostility, both in Germany and in exile in France, hence her escape to the USA. During and in the years immediately following the Second World War, she worked intensively with Jewish young people to achieve re-settlement, especially in Israel and America. Her personal experience of the crushing effect of power informed her scrutiny of how it is sourced and given moral legitimation. This strain runs through all her extensive writings. In 'Origins of Totalitarianism' she scrutinises the shared roots of both Stalinism and Nazism, and in 'Eichmann in Jerusalem: the Banality of Evil' she exposes the ordinariness of immoral action in everyday human behaviour. In her last writing she explored the notion of conscience as court of accountability for everyone in their own me-ness.

Life

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/arendt.html

Writings

Papers at Library of Congess, some open access online http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/arendthtml/arendthome.html

The Human Condition http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/The-Human-Condition/pdf/view

Video

Hannah Arendt interview (German with English subtitles) (60 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsoImQfVsO4

BAUMER, Gertrud
1873 - 1954
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS
BONHOEFFER, Dietrich
1906 - 1942
Germany
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

German Lutheran theologian, pastor and political activist, executed in last weeks of World War 2 for his part in a plot to kill Hitler. Bonhoeffer’s theological writings were especially concerned with developing a distinctive account of the nature of humanity as both special and fallen and of human community at its best. He was active in the ecumenical movement with close contacts in the UK and USA. Given the opportunity to relocate to the US, he chose to remain in Germany and to work ‘underground’ against the Nazi state. His Ethics, which include a discussion of what it means to tell the truth, along with his Letters and Papers from Prison which include the phrase ‘religionless Christianity’, are influential in the exploration of what it might mean to be Christian in a world which has maturity without formal dependence on institutional religion. Another phrase ‘ man for others’ is his summative title for Jesus; it also sums his version of proper Christian life-style.

Life

Writings

Video

Defying Hitler - the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (9 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TSq13VqJLQ

BRECHT, Bertolt
1898 - 1956
Germany
LITERATURE

 

The academic focus of his student years was in philosophy and medicine. The related disciplines and skills never left him but had their expression in his writing and drama. The theatre was for him the area for arousing a sense of moral Marxist passion in his audience – in exile elsewhere in Europe during Hitler’s dominance, then in the US where he was called to give account of his beliefs by the UnAmerican Activities Committee, and finally in East Germany. Amongst his better known plays were Galileo, The Good Woman of Setsuan, and the Caucasian Chalk Circle.

Life

Writings

 

Video

Bertolt Brecht speaks to the House Committee on Un-American Activities (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkiqGxD4CZ8

BUBER, Martin
1878 - 1965
Austria-Germany/Hungary
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

German educated, Jewish social philosopher for whom engagement with Hasidic life and thought and threat from Nazism inspired relocation to Palestine in 1938. His Zionist commitment was qualified by a sense of territory shared with Palestinians; he was a ‘Hebrew Humanist’. He published and lectured widely but his I and Thou book is what he is best known for. Whilst he was critical of self-centredness in philosophy, his own focus on the specialness of I-Thou relations led to criticism that that undervalues more inclusive I-You ones. He is central to the development of Jewish-Christian dialogue with its spirit of mutual appreciation, rooted in a sense of the ‘Eternal Thou’.

Life

Writings

DAHRENDORF, Ralf
1929 - 2009
Germany
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Ralf Dahrendorf was a sociologist and philosopher, with dual citizenship of Germany and UK. Nationally renowned as author (30 books), politician (Bunderstag representative, European Commissioner and member of House of Lords) and academic administrator (head of London School of Economics, then St Anthony's College Oxford). In his youth he protested the rise of Nazism and throughout his subsequent life sought to manage the tension between individual freedom and social obligation.

Life

http://www.economist.com/node/13895016

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/world/europe/22dahrendorf.html?_r=0

Writings

Class and class conflict in industrial society http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/ralf-dahrendorf/span-classsearchtermclassspan-and-span-classsearchtermclassspan--rha.shtml

 Video

Conversations with history: Sir Ralf Dahrendorf (50 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj5pVe6hOZo

DILTHEY, William
1833 - 1911
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Wilhelm Dilthey emphasised the difference between humanities and the natural sciences, with ethics and religion firmly in the former. Unlike biology, chemistry and physics which are characterised by structural laws and patterns, human beings are constituted by individual experience. Resulting from the evidence they interact with, people construct world views which are structured according to their sense of reality, and their developing notions of value and purpose. Typically human life expresses itself in religion, literature and metaphysics – each a form of individual response to being in the world,

 Life

Writings

EINSTEIN, Albert
1879 - 1955
Switzerland, Germany, United St
PHILOSOPHY

Eminent physicist, known pre-eminently for his theory of relativity. Relocated to USA from Berlin in 1934 because of Nazi threat to his Jewishness. Warned President Roosevelt regarding possibility of German development of atom bomb and post-war hugely involved in pressing for control of atomic weaponry.

Life

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1921/einstein-bio.html

http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/history/Biographies/Einstein.html

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters

Writings

Archive http://www.alberteinstein.info/about.html

Why Socialism? https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism

Einstein and the Atomic Bomb http://www.doug-long.com/einstein.htm

Some writings on religion and morals http://einsteinandreligion.com

Some writings on Zioism http://www.zionism-israel.com/Albert_Einstein/Albert_Einstein_about_zionism.htm

Video

Albert Einstein talking (1 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsiU2_PaSTQ 

 

 

 

ENGELS, Friedrich
1820 - 1895
Germany, England
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

Creator with Karl Marx of ‘scientific socialism’, including the writing of the Communist Manifesto. Personal financial security generated from continual industrial employment by his father in Germany or England. Evidently shaken by initial exposure to condition of working poor in Manchester. Radical concerns included those of female inequality, limits of ownership rights, and the significance of work for human identity.

 Life

 Writings

ERIKSON, Erik H
1902 - 1994
Germany, United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Leading exponent of children’s psycho-social development. He had a German Jewish background, and in 1933 relocated to N. America where he held a series of leading university and medical research positions. Drawing on his own training in psychoanalysis and Montessori educational theory and on his subsequent working experience with Sioux Indian families, with war-stressed American soldiers, and with disturbed children and adolescents, he developed a stage theory which takes account of both psychological factors and social contexts. He also applied his interpretative theories to the Young Man Luther and to Mahatma Gandhi. 

Life

Writings

Video

Interview with Erik Erikson (15 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpOtpuBnjbo

EYSENCK, Hans
1916 - 1997
Germany, England
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Having relocated because of antipathy to Nazism, he established himself in London as a leading figure in contemporary psychology. Often judged as opinionated because of the forthright way in which he expressed his views, he insisted that these were evidence led. In contrast to psychoanalysis which he continually dismissed as theoretical fancy, he relied on data from personality tests. On these he based his notion of personality types, including introversion and extroversion. He correlated personality with generic inheritance and suggested that ‘intelligence’ was significantly determined by this source and in turn that there are racial correlations. Moral education will be weak unless it takes account of individual personality factors.

Life

Writings 

Video

Hans Eysenck: race and intelligence (30 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbJs3979N1M

FASSBINDER, Rainer Werner
1945 - 1982
Germany
PHILOSOPHY

 

Werner Fassbinder was a contentious and prolific film maker, passionately concerned with moral meaning. Suspicious of superficiality in contemporary culture, but acutely aware of beauty and love - and the experience of them curdling.

Life

http://lightbox.time.com/2014/01/21/filmmaker-as-photographer-still-life-with-rainer-werner-fassbinder/#1

Films and quotes

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/rainer_werner_fassbinder.html

https://mubi.com/cast_members/1191

http://www.theyshootpictures.com/fassbinderrw.htm

 

 

FEUERBACH, Ludwig
1804 - 1872
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

Referred to along with Marx and Kierkegaard as one of the ‘Young Hegelians’, each with his own variant development of Hegel’s own theology. Feuerbach’s emphasis was on religious belief as a magnified projection of natural experience and human sentiments. This is the essence of both Christianity and religions generally. He argues that properly understood religion is anthropology at heart and principally concerned with the moral development of human happiness.

 

Life

Work

FICHTE, Johann Gottlieb
1762 - 1814
Germany
PHILOSOPHY

 

Johann Gottlieb Fichte, disciple of Kant, is known as the philosopher of the human ego, even the German ego, both enacted into consciousness. He constructed a system of ethics based on this foundation. He also developed an argument based on John’s Gospel in the New Testament that Jesus was not Jewish and calls into question any truth in Judaism.

Life

Work

FROEBEL, Friedrich
1782 - 1852
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, CURRICULUM

 

Educational enthusiast believing that children should be given the opportunity to develop naturally in harmony with the God-given world. He set up a series of ‘kindergartens’ in which there was an emphasis on play and working creatively with materials designed to facilitate this.

Life

Work

FROMM, Erich
1900 - 1980
Germany, United States
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

From an educational background and both rabbinic and psychoanalytic training in Germany, he emigrated as Nazism took hold. In university teaching, clinical practice and a succession of well-received books, he pursued the priority of maximising human freedom. That fulfilment entailed escape from false versions of being free – economic, emotional and political. Instead he sought a rounded version which he couched in terms of humanist ethics.

 

Life

Work

Video

Interview with Erich Fromm (30 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTu0qJG0NfU

GADAMER, H G
1900 - 2002
Germany
PHILOSOPHY

 

Long-lived both physically and in continuing intellectual impact as philosopher of human understanding. Putting ourselves into words, even in casual conversation, is fundamental to knowing for ourselves who we are - as much as it is for sharing this with others. 'Hermeneutics' and the skilful interpretation of language are prerequisites for morality.

Life

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2002/mar/18/guardianobituaries.obituaries

http://www.iep.utm.edu/gadamer

http://www.global-ethic-now.de/gen-eng/0a_was-ist-weltethos/0a-01-capitel-1/0a-0103-07-gadamer.php

 https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/gadamer/

 

 

 

GEHLEN Arnold
1904 -1976
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE
GOEBBELS, Joseph
1897 - 1945
Germany
POLITICS

 

Head of Nazi ministry of public enlightenment and propaganda, Goebbels educational background was catholic schooling and seven different universities. This intellectual strength gave potency to his anti-semitic passion and persuasive rhetoric. Academic qualification is no guarantee of moral integrity. 

Life

Works

Video

Joseph Goebbels warned us (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4HXvR5tFg4

GOETHE J Wolfgang
1749 - 1832
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, LITERATURE

 

Outstanding German writer, probably best known for his Faust with its theme of the human failing of soul being sold to the devil. Goethe himself saw the best prospect for human development to be one of optimistic striving in a spirit of wise and loving kindness. It is being claimed that in his appreciation of nature there is an anticipation of the current cause of environmentalism. 

Life

Works

GRIMM, Jacob
1785 - 1863
Germany
LITERATURE

 

Along with brother Wilhelm, collector of German and wider European fairy tales. Significant in establishing the historical record and varying format of such. More especially for moral education highly revealing of contemporary value assumptions and realities regarding internal family tensions and antipathies, physical violence, animal life and death

Life

Works

HABERMAS, Jurgen
1929 -
Germany
PHILOSOPHY

 

Sociologist and philosopher who acknowledges that we live in a pluralist, multi-perspectival world - a community of different selves. This creates a categorical requirement that for morality, law and effective democracy we must understand and take account of the views of others. Conversation and dialogue are the life blood of the public square and religious beliefs are more powerfully part of this than once it might have been intellectually acceptable to admit.

Life

http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/cavalier/Forum/meta/background/HaberIntro.html

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/98567/jurgen-habermas-religion-philosophy

Writings

Communicative Ethics http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/habermas/1998/communicative-ethics.htm

Towards a United States of Europe http://www.signandsight.com/features/676.html

Video

Jurgen Habermas interview (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBl6ALNh18Q 

 

HEGEL, G W F
1770 - 1831
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Philosopher and theologian who saw philosophy as setting out in rational terms what is already known and expressed in the language of religious myth. Education is the process of self-realisation, the development of the human spirit, thereby becoming self-aware and free. Consciousness of God is the other side of the coin of human self-knowledge and most fully realised in Christianity but anticipated also in other religions.

Life

Works

HEIDEGGER, Martin
1889 - 1976
Germany
PHILOSOPHY

 

 

Jesuit educated German philosopher, tainted by his declared allegiance to Hitler on his appointment as Rector of Freiberg University in 1933. His writings on experience of Being and Time, as of self-awareness of finitude and death, have been massively influential.

Life

Works

Video

Human, all too human: Martin Heidegger (50 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nxDro6THUg

HESSE, Herman
1877 - 1962
Germany Switzerland
LITERATURE

 

Poet and writer whose novels explore the challenge for any individual in building an integrated personal identity - a fully harmonious self. Self-realisation was a priority encouraged by his engagement with Jungian ‘individuation’ and subsequent exposure to eastern mystical traditions especially in Indian and Chinese Philosophy. He pursues the theme of search for selfhood in relation to such experiences as monastic calling, incest, and yen for utopia.

Life

Works

Video

Hermann Hesse's long summer, part 1 (14 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SJNVAlm9Gc

HIRSCH, Samson
1808 - 1888
Germany
RELIGION

During a period of increasing popularity of Reform Judaism, Hirsch established a model for Orthodox Judaism in Frankfurt, widely imitated elsewhere. He explained the Commandments in ways that brought out their moral meaning and force. Education of Jewish people young and old was needed for their moral reform – rather than the temptation to adapt and reform traditional religion.

Life

Works

HITLER, Adolf
1889 - 1945
Austria Germany
POLITICS

German dictator, inspired by belief in the superiority of the Aryan Race and resentment against the terms imposed on Germany as an outcome of World War 1. Well practised in the arts of charismatic speaking and of building resentment against a common foe, especially Jewish people (but also gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Slavs), who could be blamed for any failings that he might himself have been held responsible. The group rituals of the Nazi youth movement, as of the Nuremberg rallies, were essential aspects of national socialist education which appealed to a strong sense of loyalty and conviction of superiority, dulling the moral sensitivities of otherwise even highly educated people.

Life

Writings

Video

A Hitler speech (German with English subtitles) (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCpdmVQDDKI

LEIBNIZ Gottfried Willelm
1646 - 1716
Germany
PHILOSOPHY

 

Extraordinary polymath, principally in philosophy and mathematics, but also in dynastic history, ecumenical theology, legal education, optics and statistics. Morality comprises contriving to live in the best of all possible worlds.

Life

Writings 

LESSING, Gotthold Ephraim
1729 - 1781
Germany
LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Advocate of previously under-rated authors and in his own right a prolific playwright and essayist. Drama was for him a fundamental vehicle for exploring and expounding major moral and religious controversies and themes. In Nathan the Wise he sets out an imaginative resolution to the individual claims and counterclaims to truth as made by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Life

Writings 

LUTHER Martin
1483 - 1546
Germany
RELIGION, POLITICS

Central figure of the Protestant Reformation. Following a visit to Rome in 1510, he took a stand against the Roman Catholic Church to which he had hitherto belonged as a priest and lecturer. He set out a list of theological objections. These included such issues as the authority of the church, the importance of faith rather than buying power for gaining divine favour, and celibacy. He was a powerful communicator, not only in preaching, but in composing hymns and most especially translating the Bible. His emphasis on education, as on social ethics, was politically challenging – both to princes and peasants.  Sadly, he was also the propagator of vitriolic language against the Jews.

Life

Writings 

MANN Thomas
1875 - 1955
Germany
LITERATURE

 

Novelist and short story writer, with conservative cultural inclinations, he was greatly critical of the rise of Fascism in Italy and then that of Nazism, fleeing first to Switzerland and then the USA. The word he himself uses to characterise his life is ‘conscientious’. His literary output was held in continual high regard following his first book Buddenbrooks in 1898. Perhaps less apparent was the extent to which he drew on experiences within his immediate and extended family, including suicide, homosexuality and incest.

 

Life

Writings

Video

Thomas Mann's condemnation of antisemitism (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb8yUcLKaUM

MANNHEIM, Karl
1893 - 1947
Hungary Germany England
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY
MARCUSE, Herbert
1898 - 1979
Germany United States
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS

 

Radical political theorist, challenging status quo assumptions, initially against National Socialism in Germany and from 1933 in the US against cultural commodification.

Life

Writings

Video

Herbert Marcuse on Marxism (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REP7HLI4Rpk

 

MARX, Karl
1818 - 1883
Germany England
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Marx’s undergraduate studies were in law; his doctoral studies in Philosophy, especially Hegel and Feuerbach. These inspired him to take up the cause of revolutionary communism, which became the term by which he is commonly identified. He anticipates nothing less than the transformation of human society driven by the engine of economic pressure to realise the achievement of personal and collective freedom. Both with and without financial assistance from his collaborator and friend Friedrich Engels, much of his own family life was on the bread-line. Academic and political interpreters vie over the extent to which there is a moral dimension to the process of development.

Life

Writings

MUNZER, Thomas
1489 - 1525
Germany
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

A radical Protestant social reformer, influenced by Martin Luther and Jan Hus. His stance was increasingly revolutionary in its challenge to institutional authorities in a succession of different towns across Germany. Styling himself a ‘new Daniel’, empowered by the Holy Spirit he was a champion of the Peasants’ Revolt.as a Christian cause. Following its defeat, he was executed.

Life

Writings

NICHOLAS OF CUSA
1401 - 1464
GERMANY
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Influential philosophical exponent of Christian theism – God is at the extremities of human reasoning, the coincidence of opposites such as immanence within and transcendence beyond, at both the centre and circumference of the ordered universe. Trained in law he explored the authority of the church and sought to reconcile the different forms of Christian churches. He also engaged positively with claims to truth of other religions, especially Islam.

 

NIEMOLLER, Martin
1892 - 1984
GERMANY
RELIGION, POLITICS

 

A Lutheran pastor who was a U-boat captain in World War 1 and 1961-8 a president of the World Council of Churches. In disassociating himself from National Socialism and joining its ‘Confessing Church’ opposition he became vulnerable to Nazi arrest and concentration camp confinement until the end of the war. He was a lifelong pacifist, though resisting evil in a non-violent way. 

 

NIETZSCHE, F
1844 - 1900
GERMANY
LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY

 

Powerfully articulate proponent of ideas challenging many political and religious assumptions. Democracy was worthless, theistic belief superfluous and Christianity slavish. In their place should be a proper affirmation of the superman potential of individual living. Perhaps because of persistent ill-health, his writings were more episodic than systematic, but none the less challenging for that.  

RASHI
1040 - 1105
FRANCE GERMANY
RELIGION, LITERATURE

His name Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac forms the popular acronym by which he is commonly known. He was and is greatly respected in Jewish and Christian scholarship, for his commentaries on the writings of the Hebrew Bible; they became an authoritative source for accessing Jewish law and guidelines for daily life. These draw on and clarify previous midrash interpretations by earlier rabbis. His works were the first Hebrew books to appear in print in the 15th century.

RITSCHL, Albrecht
1822 - 1889
GERMANY
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

Lutheran Protestant theologian who drew on Kantian categories to present Christian hope in terms of a kingdom of moral ends and endings. The church is called to embody the value of those ends in a community that will transform the world.

SALANTER, Israel
1810 - 1883
Lithuania Germany
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY

 

Israel Salanter was already a learned debater at the age of 10. He subsequently became a teaching rabbi with recognised authority across Orthodox Jewish community, especially in the field of ethics. He initiated the Mussar movement which popularised the religious ethics of Judaism, drawing on the Talmud and other Jewish literature. Moral education is a living curriculum which internalises the qualities celebrated in the tradition and in the lives of others.

SCHLEIERMACHER, Friedrich
1768 - 1834
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

His suspicions of the externals of institutional religion combined with his extensive writings designed to lay open the feeling heart of true faith have led to Friedrich Schleiermacher becoming identified as the ‘father of modern Protestantism’. He berated the ‘cultured despisers of religion’ for their over-rational preoccupations which missed the universal sense of dependence common to humankind. This he believed to be present in all religions, but quintessentially in the God-consciousness of Jesus of Nazareth.

SCHOPENHAUER, Arthur
1788 - 1860
Germany
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Contrary to those who believe that reason and physical experience are the primary determinants in human life, Arthur Schopenhauer believed that wilful striving is more important. Much wilful force is naturally inherited and unconscious and therefore beyond easy control, but it is self-deceiving to ignore it even if it leads more to pessimism than an easy optimism. He was much influenced by Kant, as also by Hindu (via the Vedas) and Buddhist thinking. Empathy is the best resource for ethics and moral education.

SCHWEITZER, Albert
1876 - 1965
GERMANY GABON
RELIGION, POLITICS

Albert Schweitzer was a remarkable  Christian theologian, musician and medical doctor/social worker. His New Testament studies convinced him that what can be known of the historical Jesus shows him believing that the world was about to end and attempting to induce that by his own acceptance of execution. Similarly, he concluded that the mystical experience of Paul is a novel extension of Jesus’ life. Schweitzer himself retrained in medicine so that he would be qualified to set up and run a hospital in Africa, therein at Lambarene living and working his theology of ‘reverence for life’ for 50 years.

Video

Albert Schweitzer practices on the piano (1 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2lRwGXkr3A

SIMMEL, Georg
1858 - 1918
Germany
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

One of the ‘founding fathers’ of academic sociology. A genuinely individual thinker of wide-ranging interests, and also somewhat an outsider figure for which his Jewish background may have been a contributory factor. Just as others constructed ‘ideal types’ to delineate characteristic institutional forms, Simmel did this for typical forms of individuality, including the adventurer, the mediator, the poor, the stranger. He regarded education which raises awareness of such features of life in society as essential for deepening humanity. His cultivation of aphorisms was his final contribution to this process.

TILLICH, Paul
1886 - 1965
GERMANY United States
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY

Paul Tillich spent the first half of his life in Germany, including work as an army chaplain during World War 1, engaging in post-war re-thinking and activity from university positions, and challenging the anti-Jewish momentum. Following loss of university job in 1933, he relocated to New York and for the second half of his life sought to address the challenge of relevance: what genuine contribution can Christianity – or other religions – make to human understanding in a world of increasingly pervasive secular science, culture and politics? He drew on existentialist philosophy, depth psychology and sociology and expressed his thinking in works of systematic theology, student encounter and sermons.

Video

Paul Tillich on Christian faith and symbolism (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UzPI3gKn_4

TROELTSCH, Ernst
1865 - 1923
GERMANY
SOCIAL SCIENCE, RELIGION

Ernst Troeltsch was a scholar who interpreted Christianity and church developments in historical perspective. Its theology and social teachings are to be understood in their particular contexts and therefore not in any ‘fixed-for-all time’ content. Law, philosophy and psychology as well as theology are all relevant disciplines to understand the Christian and any other religion. Historical relativism is a challenge which he addressed by preferring to characterise religious truth claims as ‘Relatively Absolute’ rather than ‘Absolute’. For Christians that relatedness is to a personal and moral source individually sensed and historically found in Jesus. In social and organisational terms their response is expressed as church, sect and cult – categories extensively discussed and refined in the subsequent sociology of religion.

WEBER, Max
1864 - 1920
Germany
SOCIAL SCIENCE, POLITICS

 

Max Weber was a pioneer of the academic discipline of sociology, he drew on both direct personal experience (Elbe fieldwork) and an enormous range of historical sources (armchair reading). Drawing on both, he constructed ‘ideal types’ to identify and characterise organisations, patterns of authority, religions and variations within them. He engaged directly with Marxist argument that human development is conditioned by economic factors by insisting that interacting with these is the factor of belief and symbolic meaning commonly expressed in religions. This thesis is best known in his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism but that is one part of the larger study of ancient Judaism and the religions of China and India.

                https://archive.org/details/MaxWeberEconomyAndSociety

ZUNZ, Leopold
1794 - 1886
GERMANY
RELIGION

Leopold Zunz was the leading exponent of a movement to present Judaism in scientific terms which would enable it to connect with the contemporary world more generally than its predominant outward forms seemed to allow. As a historian he engaged with all aspects of Jewish tradition – biblical text, interpretative commentaries, liturgical expression, individual biography, poetry – and demonstrated their relevance for human culture at large. Against those who preferred linguistic confinement he showed that readiness to use the vernacular language had always been a Jewish practice. And as for moral relativism: “Particular virtues are a matter of fashion, but virtue is not”.

                http://primary-sources.eui.eu/website/leopold-zunz-archiv

Current expertise

Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany
Disciplines:business & economics education, adolescence, adult, education, philosophy/ethics, research, pedagogy, applied ethics
Center for Moral-Democratic Competence Training, Germany
Disciplines:Moral competence, lifespan, education, psychology, research, teaching: higher education , pedagogy, policy, applied ethics, citizenship/civics/social studies , resources
Contact Information:
Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Contact Information: email
BSZ Döbeln-Mittweida, Germany
Disciplines:inclusion of foreign students, adolescence, philosophy/ethics, teaching: pre-school-secondary , pedagogy, policy, discrimination, applied ethics, citizenship/civics/social studies , resources
Contact Information:
CGB, Germany
Disciplines:Ego Development, adult, economics/business studies, psychology, research, teaching: higher education
Contact Information: +491791151987

Relevant organisations

Arnold Liebster Foundation
Germany

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