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‘Incredible, that’s literature!’ Attempts at Re-moralizing Politics, Academic Disciplines and the Professions with the Help of ‘belles-lettres’

In 1945 The German Mind and Outlook was published, a resumé of discussions about the future of Germany that English intellectuals had had in 1942 and 1943. They hoped that the Germans would be able to correct the moral depravity the Nazis had led them into – with the help of Goethe. Re-vitalizing Goethe’s humanism, the cultural nation would be reborn and would be welcomed again in the community of nations. Professor Lepenies discusses attempts at re-moralizing politics with the help of literature, how literature can be used to re-introduce morality into the social sciences, and concludes with a look at programmes to educate professional 'moral leaders' by turning them into readers of ‘belles-lettres’.

Author: Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Speaker(s): Wolf Lepenies (Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin); Welcome/Introduction: T.J. Reed (EGS President/Oxford); Moderation: Kevin Hilliard (Oxford). Additional Discussants: Jeremy Adler (London), Elizabeth Boa (Nottingham), Ellen Pilsworth (Reading)

Organisations: Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Event date: Thursday, 10 March 2022 - 5:45pm

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