Johann-Gottfried-Herder-Research Centre

The Johann-Gottfried-Herder Research Centre at the Max-Weber-Kolleg was launched in 2015. It sees itself as an interdisciplinary platform for the research and scientific exchange of Herder's work. A special concern for the centre is the grouping together of the different facets of Herder's thinking. In addition to Herder's preaching, the centre focuses its attention, among others things, to his philosophy of history and his role as a mediator of knowledge about non-Christian religions.

In addition to pursuing its own projects, the research centre would like to act as a stimulant in the academic field and gradually develop the necessary structures and frameworks. A further concern is the introduction of Herder's work to an interested public. In order to achieve these objectives, it is gradually building a network of cooperative partners.




J. G. Herder's Early Sermons: Königsberg and Riga (1762-1769)

The ministry is one of the strongest constants in Herder's work. It structures his biography in all phases of his life due to the fact that the public pulpit speech was his central task as minister and spiritual teacher.  Paradoxically, as measured by the amount of information on it, the sermon is the most unknown and understudied genre of Herder’s work. Only about a third of Herder's sermons, prepared up to this day, have been edited at all. For the first time the manuscripts of Herder's sermons are to be edited according to today's philological standards. The subject of the project is Herder's early preaching in the years 1762-1769. This essentially covers the period when Herder took on various clerical responsibilities in Riga. During this time, about seventy out-of-form manuscripts were written, each of which filled a speech time of about an hour. In addition to the editorial presentation of the material, an introduction will be written in order to facilitate the classification and evaluation of Herder's sermons. This project is funded by the Minister of State for Culture and Media and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

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Szenische Lesung "Neues Leben – Luther und Herder predigen" mit Musik am 11. April 2016 um 19 Uhr im Collegium Maius in Zusammenarbeit mit der Weimar-Jena-Akademie