USA – University of California (Davis), Universität Erfurt (Germany)
Research area: Religious studies, History of esotericism, new religious movements, history of science, late 19th/early 20th-century german philosophy, modernism, technology studies
‘Weber is important for my research as a Religious Studies scholar because of his concept of the «disenchantment of the world». This concept was widely adopted by sociologists and historians during the second half of the 20th century as a way to make sense of the modern world, especially the process of secularization and the simultaneous emergence of new (and renewed) forms of religiosity (or «re-enchantment»). In my opinion, Weber’s life and ideas — notably in relation to his study of and interest in the world’s major religions — have not been properly acknowledged or understood. Weber therefore still has much to teach us about the way European intellectuals at the dawn of the 20th century attempted to rationally interpret and manage the perceived «crisis» of the modern world, including their fears about bureaucracy and technical rationality, the death of god, and the encounter with non-European religions and philosophies.’
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