New Blumenberg Lectures Book Series

First volume of the Cluster of Excellence’s “Blumenberg-Vorlesungen” (Blumenberg lectures) book series published – presenting lectures of visiting professor and historian Lucian Hölscher

© Herder-Verlag

The first volume of the new book series “Blumenberg-Vorlesungen” (Blumenberg lectures) of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has now been published by Herder Verlag. The historian and first Hans Blumenberg Visiting professor, Prof. Dr. Lucian Hölscher writes about Protestant piety in Germany between the Reformation and the secular society in the volume. The articles are based on the public series of lectures “Protestant piety culture and the anniversary of the Reformation 2017” held in the summer semester 2016 in Münster.

The book traces the change of Protestant piety culture through the past centuries. It looks more closely at the religious practices and their social environment than at the history of the Christian churches. The reflections focus on the closeness of Catholic and Protestant piety cultures in the age of the Reformation, on the denominational split in the 18th century, and on the secular religiousness of the present age.

The Cluster of Excellence’s “Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professorship for Religion and Politics” is to contribute to bringing innovative impulses from international research to Münster and consolidating the interdisciplinary compatibility at the Cluster of Excellence. “The Blumenberg lectures are not committed to a certain discipline but are interdisciplinary in character”, writes the speaker of the research association, sociologist of religion Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack in the introduction. Experts from the wide-ranging humanities and social sciences are invited to present, in the city of the Peace of Westphalia, their views of the changing relationship of religion and politics.

New interpretation of the Reformation

Prof. Dr. Lucian Hölscher
© RUB, Nelle

In his lecture series at the Cluster of Excellence, the first visiting professor Lucian Hölscher addressed the historical and present interpretations of the Reformation and the Protestant piety culture in the past centuries. “Like Hans Blumenberg, he pursues a constructivist argumentation in many of his works”, writes Detlef Pollack. “Like him, he upholds theory and working on the concept against their critics, while still also placing importance on determining their limits.” In his articles, Lucian Hölscher advocates a new interpretation of the Reformation and examines the concept of denomination as well as the notion of piety. He also deals with religion and secularity in modern society.

The Cluster of Excellence’s visiting professorship is named after the influential Münster philosopher Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996). “By establishing the Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professorship, the Cluster of Excellence honours the work of a scholar who worked at the University of Münster for 15 years, from 1970 until his retirement in 1985, contributing with his philosophical oeuvre to the University’s reputation”, writes Detlef Pollack. “Hans Blumenberg was a thinker who approached philosophy in a literary manner, who told story after story, artfully dovetailing the motifs of the one with the quintessence of the other, thus constantly transcending the boundary between literature and philosophy.” Even if Blumenberg met with considerable national and international response, he remained an insiders’ tip in many cases.

Data atlas of religious geography

Prof. Dr. Lucian Hölscher is emeritus professor for modern history and the theory of history at Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB). He has been a member of the board of RUB’s Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Dynamics of Religion between Asia and Europe” since 2008. Lucian Hölscher focuses not only on the theory of history and the history of concepts, but also on the social, cultural and religious history of the 19th and 20th centuries, as Prof. Pollack explains. “His magnum opus, ‘Geschichte der protestantischen Frömmigkeit in Deutschland’ (history of Protestant piety in Germany), was published in this thematic field in 2005. However, the meritorious data atlas on religious geography in Protestant Germany, published in 2001, should also be referred to in this context.”

Renowned researchers from varying disciplines have been appointed to the Cluster of Excellence’s visiting professorship since the summer semester 2016. Visiting professor in the current winter semester is the legal scholar Prof. Dr. Horst Dreier from Würzburg. In his lecture series, he addresses the “Challenges of the secular constitutional state ”. (ill/vvm)

Please note: Hölscher, Lucian: Protestantische Frömmigkeit in Deutschland – zwischen Reformation und säkularer Gesellschaft (Vol. 1 Blumenberg-Vorlesungen), Freiburg: Herder 2017, hardback, 128 pages, ISBN 978-3-451-37906-2, €16.99.