Hans Joas

Non-resident Long-term Fellow for Programmes in Theoretical and Historical Social Science
and Religious Studies, SCAS.
Ernst Troeltsch Professor, Faculty of Theology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Professor of Sociology and Social Thought, University of Chicago

Hans Joas received his Ph.D. from Freie Universität Berlin in 1979 for a study on George Herbert
Mead. The English edition is called G. H. Mead: A Contemporary Re-examination of His Thought
(MIT Press, 1985, 1997). Some of Joas’ other books in English are Social Action and Human Nature,
written with Axel Honneth (Cambridge University Press, 1988); Pragmatism and Social Theory (The
University of Chicago Press, 1993); The Creativity of Action (The University of Chicago Press, 1996);
The Genesis of Values (The University of Chicago Press, 2000); War and Modernity (Polity Press,
2003); and Do We Need Religion? On Experiences of Self-Transcendence (Paradigm Publishers, 2008).

Joas published two books with Wolfgang Knoebl, Social Theory: Twenty Introductory Lectures (Cam-
bridge University Press, 2009) and War in Social Thought: Hobbes to the Present (Princeton University
Press, 2013). He has also edited several volumes, including The Cultural Values of Europe (Liverpool
University Press, 2008); Secularization and the World Religions (Liverpool University Press, 2009);
The Axial Age and Its Consequences (with Robert Bellah, Harvard University Press, 2013) and The
Timeliness of George Herbert Mead
(with Daniel R. Huebner, University of Chicago Press, 2016). His
latest books in English are The Sacredness of the Person: A New Genealogy of Human Rights (George-
town University Press, 2013) and Faith as an Option: Possible Futures for Christianity (Stanford Uni-
versity Press, 2014). In German he recently published Was ist die Achsenzeit? Eine wissenschaftliche
Debatte als Diskurs über Transzendenz
(Schwabe, Basel, 2014); Die lange Nacht der Trauer: Erzählen
als Weg aus der Gewalt?
(Psychosozial-Verlag, Gießen, 2014), Sind die Menschenrechte westlich?
(Kösel, München, 2015), Kirche als Moralagentur? (Kösel, München, 2016), and, most importantly,
Die Macht des Heiligen. Eine Alternative zur Geschichte von der Entzauberung
(Suhrkamp, Berlin 2017).

Joas is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. In 2010, he received
the Bielefelder Wissenschaftspreis (Niklas Luhmann Prize); in 2012, an honorary doctorate in Theology
from Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen; in 2013, an honorary doctorate in Sociology from Uppsala
University and the Hans Kilian Award; in 2015, the Max Planck Research Award; and in 2017 the Prix
Paul Ricoeur.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2018-19.