Human Dignity Lecture Series: Hans Joas

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Hans Joas, world renown sociologist, gives the final lecture in the Murphy Institute series on Human Dignity.

Date & Time:

Thursday, November 6, 2014
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


Free and open to the public.


O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium

University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus

Hans Joas, Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and the Ernst Troeltsch Professor for the Sociology of Religion at Humboldt University of Berlin, will give the next lecture in the Murphy Institute's Human Dignity lecture series, which brings together prominent thinkers in fields such as philosophy, theology, and law to rigorously explore just what it means for humans to possess dignity.  

In his lecture, Joas will discuss how the development of the concept of human rights relates to the legal proscription of slavery and torture in the Western world and explore just how secure the religious, philosophical, and political foundations of the abolitionist and anti-torture movements remain today.

Joas has published several influential books in the tradition of American pragmatism, including: Pragmatism and Social Theory (Chicago 1993), The Creativity of Action (Chicago 1996), and The Genesis of Values (Chicago 2000). More recently, Joas has explored the intersection of religious commitment and sociological analysis. His 2009 book poses the question, Do We Need Religion? On the Experience of Self-Transcendence (Paradigm), and his work, The Sacredness of the Person (Georgetown 2012), offers a new genealogy of and argument for human rights. His most recent book Faith as an Option: Possible Futures for Christianity (Stanford University Press 2014), is now available in English. 

Lecturers in the series to date have been Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University: Gilbert Meilaender, Richard and Phyllis Duesenberg Chair in Theological Ethics at Valparaiso University; David Luban, University Professor and Professor of Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University Law Center and the Acting Director of the Center on National Security and the Law; and Paolo Carozza, Professor and Director of Notre Dame’s  J.S.D. program in International Human Rights Law as well as the Program on Law and Human Development.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.