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Max Planck Research Award 2015 for long-term FRIAS Fellow Prof. Hans Joas

Long-term FRIAS Fellow Prof. Dr. Hans Joas, honorary professor at the theological faculty of the Humboldt University Berlin, together with Prof. Brian S. Turner, professor for Sociology at the University of Chicago, has received the prestigious Max Planck Research Award 2015.

The Prize, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is awarded annually by the Max Planck Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to one researcher working in Germany and one working abroad.

At the latest since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the radicalization of religion and outbreaks of religiously motivated violence are among the formative experiences of modernity. Contrary to the expectation of the social sciences, religion as such has not become less important. The focus of the Max Planck Research Award 2015 has thus been “Religion and Modernity – Secularization, Social and Religious Plurality”.

In his research, Prof. Joas focuses on “self-transcendence” as a unifying element and origin of religious experiences. In his “Stufenmodell” (multi-stage model), he describes three stages of transcendence that allow for an interreligious dialogue. During his time at FRIAS from 2011 to 2014, he was concerned with processes of sacralisation, secularisation, and their interchange with processes of the formation of power. In his latest work, he deals with the religious and philosophical basis of Human Rights. According to him, Human Rights are a result of the idea of the sacrality of the person, which is not a solely Western idea but has developed independently in different cultures.

The award ceremony will take place in Berlin on December 8, 2015.

Further information on the Max Planck Research Award 2015.