Dietmar Mieth gives a working paper on ‚Not at one´s disposition – Inaccessibility‘

The thesis of this contribution – resulting from an oral presentation in the City of Bochum where I have lived since 2017 – , focuses  on  the connection between the dramatic loss of members in  the Christian Churches  in Europe on the one hand and the preoccupation with the relevance of “religious” feelings in the society on the other side, detected and elaborated   by sociologists like Latour, Joas, Rosa. This approach seems – for me – to be very near to the project of “Weltbeziehung” which promotes some approaches in the Max Weber Institute. My intention is to identify and discuss some of the  roots of this contemporary “religious” sensitivity in the medieval tradition of mysticism and especially in the literary reception of Meister Eckhart in the first half of the 20th century.

Ramón Soneira Martínez is going to present a working paper on ‚Repulsion and religious indifference: connections between unbelief and resonance theory‘

The second chapter of my dissertation deals with the Resonanztheorie of Hartmut Rosa. The chapter has two main parts. The first one is focused on the analyses of religious practices using the theoretical background of the theory of resonance. The second one develops the possible connection between the term unbelief and the Resonanztheorie. The main idea is that the framework of the theory of Resonanz can be an interesting tool to analyse the complexity of the phenomena related to unbelief as deconversion, blasphemy or atheism not only nowadays but also in other historical contexts. To conclude this paper, I introduce briefly the possibility of this study of unbelief considering the Resonanztheorie in antiquity, especially in Classical Athens.

Antje Linkenbach gives a working paper on ‚Asynchronicity, Ambiguity and Contingency: Provincializing Theories of Modernity‘

The present contribution examines recent sociological, non-linear and contingencysensitive ways of engagement with modernity, which attribute different significance to normative questions and refer to different levels of socio-historical configuration. It will lay particular emphasis on the work of Johan P. Arnason, as one of the most advanced, although non-normative approaches to modernity. This will be followed by a discussion of normative approaches to modernity offered by Hartmut Rosa and Peter Wagner. I will argue that a normative perspective is constitutive for social theory and questions about the emancipative potential and possibilities of modernity must be at the core of analysis (see Joas, Knöbl 2004). I will further argue that while it seems reasonable to discuss modernity from a macro-perspective and even in the context of civilizational analysis, and so move to a geopolitical higher level or ‘hyper-social system (Mauss) – as it is prominently done in the work of Johan P. Arnason -, the reverse route has never been received adequate attention. Modernity should also be approached from a microsociological perspective, which takes into account the temporally, spatially and socially contextualized acting subject in a locality or a region. Special attention should be given to the postcolonial encounter.