Faith and Fabric

Relations between “faith” and the “fabric” – whether political, social, economic, cultural or moral – of communities, societies and the global world are increasingly studied in many disciplines, not primarily because of the popular claim that “religion is back” and the fact that the so-called secularization theory is today rejected by many, but rather since many scholars increasingly recognize the public role of faith, not in the sense of religious convictions, communities and traditions, but in the sense of basic axioms and values, core beliefs and commitments (Taylor), cardinal convictions (Huber), notions of the sacred (Joas), in short, the faith of the faithless (Critchley). Even the controversial claim describing all modern political notions as secular theology (Carl Schmitt) receives renewed attention. The Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin hosted a project studying the role of such beliefs and commitments in secular modernity. Against this background, scholars from diverse disciplines and backgrounds known for creative contributions to these questions are invited as fellows in this STIAS project on faith and fabric, to pursue their own case-studies, revisiting these issues in an African context.

Project leader(s):
  • Dirkie Smit (Stellenbosch)
STIAS fellow(s):
  • Hans Joas (Freiburg)
  • Wolfgang Huber (Berlin)
  • Bernard Lategan (SU researcher)

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