Thu, 16 Jul | Online

Religious and Secular Dynamics of Social Thought: A Conversation with Hans Joas

Registration is Closed
Religious and Secular Dynamics of Social Thought: A Conversation with Hans Joas

Time & Location

16 Jul 2020, 17:30 – 18:50

About the Event

Please RSVP by 10:00 a.m. EDT on July 16 to receive the Zoom link to this webinar: RSVP ( As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit social interaction while simultaneously raising enormous societal and economic challenges, the Global Religions and Secular Dynamics  ( discussion series brings together prominent scholars online to facilitate ongoing intellectual conversation. The series examines modern secularization and competing theories of global religious revival as interrelated dynamics. Contemporary issues such as the resurgence of exclusionary populisms and self-enclosed nationalisms, transnational religion, migration, and increasing ethno-religious and cultural diversity, are discussed in public conversations moderated by Berkley Center Senior Fellow José Casanova, one of the world's top scholars in the sociology of religion. This conversation will feature Hans Joas, Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Joas has long served as an interlocutor and intellectual bridge between American and European social thought, both in his publications and in his 20 years of teaching at the University of Chicago. On the basis of his books on G. H. Mead and on the importance of American pragmatism for social theory, he developed an approach focusing on the creative dimension of human action and on the human experiences from which our commitment to values emerges. In recent decades his main interests have been the history of human rights and of moral universalism in general and particularly the global historical dynamics of sacralization and desacralization, both with regard to religion and to secular values. Joas and Casanova will also discuss the American response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread societal support of the Black Lives Matter movement. This event is co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Reset Dialogues on Civilizations.