Max-Weber-Kolleg supports „Jena Declaration on Cultural Sustainability“

In the „Jena Declaration on Cultural Sustainability“, numerous signatories call for a cultural approach to sustainability policy. The declaration is implemented in the three programme lines art, education and civil society, which are coordinated in a cooperation between the Max-Weber-Kolleg of the University of Erfurt, the FSU Jena and the HfM Franz Liszt Weimar. The launch event on Thursday 9 September at 3pm will be broadcast live.

The United Nations’ Agenda 2030 came into force on January 1, 2016. In this Agenda, the member states committed themselves to doing everything possible over the following 15 years to achieve 17 goals for sustainable development in the world. These goals include ending poverty; education and a healthy life for all; and achieving sustainable production and consumption. Increasingly, experts are now pointing out that despite immense political, legal and financial efforts, the global community is about to miss its last chance to achieve these UN Sustainable Development Goals in time. Merely increasing existing resources does not appear to be sufficient to implement Agenda 2030.

A network of renowned international institutions, such as the Club of Rome, the World Academy of Art and Science, the Academia Europaea, and the German and Canadian UNESCO Commissions, is therefore now calling for a clear change of strategy through a new cultural approach. On the initiative of Professor Benno Werlen, UNESCO Chair on Global Understanding for Sustainability at Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt, more than 30 institutions have already adopted “The Jena Declaration”, in which they define a new cultural approach through which the Sustainability Goals can still be achieved.

Speakers at the launch event at 3 p.m. on 9 September 2021 will include the Co-President of the Club of Rome, Mamphela Ramphele, the President of the World Academy of Art and Science, Garry Jacobs, as well as important co-signatories to the Declaration such as Prof. Hartmut Rosa, Secretary-General of the German UNESCO Commission, Dr Roman Luckscheiter, the President of the Leibniz Association, Prof. Matthias Kleiner, but also, the German climate activist Luisa Neubauer and artists from Afghanistan, Iran and South Africa, among others.

It will take a broad-based global social movement to change thinking and action“
Top-down measures to tackle global challenges, which have dominated so far, cannot take sufficient account of the diversity of cultural and regional differences. For example, many global programmes are poorly adapted to actual local living conditions and therefore find little acceptance. “It will take a broad-based global social movement to change thinking and action for the transition towards sustainable prosperity. This requires fine tuning to local needs and conditions,” emphasises Garry Jacobs, President of the World Academy of Art and Science and one of the first signatories to the Declaration. The primary aim is to get such a movement up and running. 

In order to accelerate and deepen the necessary societal change, the United Nations and political decision-makers must approach more directly the most important actors of change: individuals with their everyday routines and habits. The aim of “The Jena Declaration” is to draw greater attention to the way in which human activities are embedded culturally, regionally and historically. Building on this, the network is calling on everyone to develop inclusive solutions tailored to local conditions. This requires first of all a respectful appreciation of, and regard for, cultural diversity. „The fact that young people worldwide are assigned a central role in the realisation of the programme of the Jena Declaration on Sustainability is particularly noteworthy and, in my view, absolutely necessary. Without the ideas, the demands and the commitment of the generation of tomorrow, it will not be possible to overcome the great social challenges. Today’s generation is obviously finding it very difficult to do so. Therefore, young and old, hand in hand for sustainable improvement, that can be the key,“ emphasises Prof. Uwe Cantner, Vice-President for Young Researchers and Diversity Management for of Friedrich Schiller University.

World Secretariat in Jena
The Declaration’s programme accordingly aims to reach people of all ages – especially younger generations – and of diverse cultural, social and regional backgrounds, and to make it easier for them to act locally in the spirit of global sustainability.

The necessary change extends into all areas of life, as Mamphela Ramphele, Co-President of the Club of Rome, points out, using education as an example: “Humanity has the opportunity to learn from the multiplicity of interconnected planetary emergencies upon us. To learn the lesson we have to embrace nature’s wisdom reflected in indigenous knowledge. At the same time we need to break down the knowledge silos in our outdated education systems.”

Implementation of the declaration will take place along the three programme lines “Art”, “Education” and “Civil Society”. These will be coordinated by a World Secretariat established at the University of Jena in cooperation with the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies (Max-Weber-Kolleg) of the University of Erfurt and the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar. “It is a special opportunity for Thuringia and Germany to be able actively to shape future sustainability policy together with such influential partners and a broad social movement,” says Professor Benno Werlen, head of the coordination office.

Further information and access to the live stream event via the declaration website.

University of Erfurt is a member of the ORCID Germany Consortium as of 1 September

The University of Erfurt will become a member of the ORCID Germany Consortium on 1 September.

„In this way, the university is making an important contribution to the promotion of open science communication and laying the foundation for easier reporting of the research outputs of our scientists – not least thanks to the possible (future) integration into internal university systems such as the university bibliography (Hochschulbibliographie) and the Research Information System (FIS Forschungsinformationssystem)“, explains Anne Lehmann, a member of staff at the Research Data Management Service Office at the University of Erfurt.

Names are rarely unique. And so, if the names are the same, confusion with other researchers can occur. But also the change of names (e.g. after marriage), e-mail addresses or employers makes it difficult to clearly assign people to their scientific achievements. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) offers an internationally recognised, unique, persistent personal identification number for free use by researchers.

The ORCID ID is a global standard for uniquely identifying researchers and associating them with their research achievements. With the ORCID ID, scientists have full control over their own data and can improve the visibility and discoverability of their research. The broad support of ORCID by publishers, research institutions and funding bodies also simplifies data management, for example thanks to automatic import options for publications.

New publication about the relationship between Jewish and Christian liturgy

„Analogy and Difference: The Dynamic Relationship of Jewish and Christian Liturgy“ is the title of a new volume by Claudia D. Bergmann and Benedikt Kranemann, which has just been published by Aschendorff publishing house.

The relationship of Jewish and Christian liturgies in the course of history is very complex. One can observe, among other things, mutual influences and adoptions, but also differently motivated tensions. The anthology investigates topics ranging from antiquity to the present. Among them are contributions on Gen 22 in hymnological traditions, receptions and transformations of the Psalms, coexistence and confrontation in the Middle Ages, liturgies in contexts of social upheaval, and the relationship between liturgy and music. The essays from the areas of Jewish Studies, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, and Liturgical Studies open up numerous perspectives on the relationship between Jewish and Christian liturgies, but also generate new research perspectives.

Claudia D. Bergmann und Benedikt Kranemann (eds.)
Analogy and Difference: The Ever-Changing Relationship of Jewish and Christian Liturgy
Analogie und Differenz: Das dynamische Verhältnis von jüdischer und christlicher Liturgie

(series: Liturgiewissenschaftliche Quellen und Forschungen, 112 )
Aschendorff publishing house, 2021
ISBN 978-3-402-11282-3
312 pages
46 EUR

Christopher Degelmann was elected to the Die Junge Akademie

Dr Christopher Degelmann, alumnus of the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt, has been granted the special honour of admission to the Die Junge Akademie.

The Die Junge Akademie is, according to its own information, the first academy of young academics worldwide. It opens up interdisciplinary and socially relevant creative spaces for outstanding young academics from German-speaking countries. The Die Junge Akademie was founded in 2000 as a joint project of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. A membership is intended not only to promote research, but also to support members in actively and creatively shaping the dialogue between science and society.

As an ancient historian, Dr Degelmann will now be a member of the Die Junge Akademie for five years, together with nine other new members from a wide range of disciplines, and will work on interdisciplinary projects. The prerequisite for a membership is an outstanding doctorate completed about three to seven years ago. In addition, at least one other excellent scientific paper is expected and members of the Die Junge Akademie are also expected to have a keen interest in joint projects at the interface of science, art, society and politics, and to enjoy interdisciplinary work.

„I am pleased that the dissertation completed in Erfurt as well as the good experiences in interdisciplinary exchange at the Max-Weber-Kolleg have made it possible for Christopher Degelmann to be elected as a member of the Die Junge Akademie and wish him much success and joy for his new tasks in the context of the Die Junge Akademie!“ says Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke, who supervised Dr. Degelmann’s dissertation – published under the title „Squalor. Symbolic Mourning in Political Communication in the Roman Republic and Early Imperial Period“ – at the Max-Weber-Kolleg.

Award for Erfurt theologian Thomas Sojer

The Erfurt theologian Thomas Sojer has been awarded third place in the „Salzburg University Weeks“ audience prize for his lecture „Mechanical or Organic Solidarity? An Appeal to Symbiotic Life“, the theologian from Erfurt was awarded third place in the Audience Prize at the „Salzburg University Weeks“.

The prize was awarded after a voting process that, due to Corona, had to take place as digitally as the Hochschulwochen – otherwise the largest summer academy in the German-speaking world with over 1,000 participants – itself. This year, the general theme was „What (still) keeps us together? On Commitment and Fragmentation“. The first prize was awarded to the young theologian Andree Burke from Hamburg, second place went to the theologian Maximilian Gigl from Munich.

Thomas Sojer studied Catholic theology in Graz, Innsbruck and London. He has been a research assistant at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Erfurt since 2021 and is also a doctoral student at the Max Weber College at the University of Erfurt.

The lectures of the „Salzburg University Weeks“ are still available for listening as a podcast.