26 March 2021, 16-18 CET | Webinar at Microsoft Teams

Lecture by Prof. Laura Anna Macor (Univ. of Verona)

26 March 2021, lecture: 'Johann Joachim Spalding and "the Bestimmung des Menschen": Philosophy (and Religion) as a Way of Life in the German Enlightenment'. Abstract and registration on the event details page.
Registration is Closed
Lecture by Prof. Laura Anna Macor (Univ. of Verona)

Time & Location

26 March 2021, 16-18 CET
Webinar at Microsoft Teams

About the Event


In 1748 the still unknown would-be pastor Johann Joachim Spalding (1714–1804) published a small work entitled Betrachtung über die Bestimmung des Menschen, wherein a fictional I embarks on a monologue with a view to discovering the aim of human existence and the behavior required in order to fulfil this aim. Spalding adopted a quite peculiar perspective for a future exponent of the Lutheran clergy – omitting any reference to the Bible, yet including explicit quotations from the Classics. In so doing, he opened the path for what turned out to be a new way of looking at religion, philosophy and their mutual relationship, and this is to be seen as the main reason for the immense success of the text across ten further enlarged and updated editions as well as a number of clandestine reprints and translations over the whole of the second half of the eighteenth century. Spalding’s little treatise crucially contributed to reshaping not only religion – well beyond the erudite and dogmatic controversies following the Reformation – but also philosophy – leading to the well-known popular trends of the late German Enlightenment, and finally to Kant’s primacy of practical reason.

It is the purpose of this paper to reconstruct the genesis and sources of this unconventional approach, as well as vindicate it as a hitherto unacknowledged contribution to the long-standing and well-established tradition of “philosophy as a way of life”.

Share This Event

By submitting this form, I give consent for my personal data to be processed in matters pertaining to: registration for the purposes of participation in the seminar of the research group Enlightenment and Religion at the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, in accordance with the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 with regard to the processing of personal data and in accordance with the information clause attached to my consent.

In accordance with Article 13 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data (…) (“General Regulations”) the Jagiellonian University informs that, the administrator of your personal data is the Jagiellonian University 24 Gołębia Street, 31-007 Krakow. A Data Protection Officer has been appointed by the Jagiellonian University who is based at 24 Gołębia Street, 31-007 Krakow, room nr 5. The Officer can be contacted via e-mail: iod@uj.edu.pl or by phone – 12 663 12 25. Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of the seminar on the basis of registration. Providing personal data is voluntary. However, it is obligatory for your registration to be valid. The recipients of your personal data will be the team of the research project Between Secularization and Reform (grant no. UMO-2018/31/B/HS1/02050). Your personal data might be made available to third parties who are other participants of the seminar meetings. Your personal data will be retained for the duration of the project. You have the right to: access the data and demand its rectification, deletion, processing restrictions, transfer the data, object to the processing of data, withdraw your consent at any time in cases and under the conditions stipulated in “General Regulations”. The withdrawal of consent shall result in the inability to participate in the events of the project. The withdrawal of consent may be sent by email to religious.rationalism@iphils.uj.edu.pl or in person at the Institute of Philosophy, Grodzka 52, 31-044 Kraków, Room 26. You have the right to file a complaint with The President,  Personal Data Protection Office (UODO) if you consider the processing of your personal data to be in violation of the provisions of the “General Regulations”.