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Bio

 

Professor Brent Sockness' teaching covers a variety of thinkers, movements, and topics in the history of European and North American religious thought since the seventeenth century. His work explores how Christian religion has undergone modernization via its engagement with the rise of modern philosophy, the natural sciences, critical history, and liberal political institutions. His research focuses on German post-Kantian theology and ethics, in particular the thought of the early nineteenth-century theologian, philosopher, and humanist Friedrich Schleiermacher and the early twentieth-century theologian, cultural historian, sociologist, philosopher of history, and ethicist Ernst Troeltsch.
 
He is author of Against False Apologetics: Wilhelm Herrmann and Ernst Troeltsch in Conflict (Mohr Siebeck) and co-editor with Wilhelm Gräb of Schleiermacher, the Study of Religion, and the Future of Theology. He has held fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the American Academy in Berlin, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is Vice-President of the German Schleiermacher-Gesellschaft and is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Religious Studies and serves on the Advisory Board of Stanford’s Center for Ethics in Society.
 

 

Key works

Co-edited with Wilhelm Gräb. Schleiermacher, the Study of Religion, and the Future of Theology: A Transatlantic Dialogue. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010

"Schleiermacher's 'Essentialist' Hermeneutics of Culture." In Schleiermacher, the Study of Religion, and the Future of Theology

“Cultural Theory as Ethics.” In Christentum—Staat—Kultur: Akten des Internationalen Schleiermacher-Kongresses Berlin 26.-29.03.2006, ed. Ulrich Barth and Wilhelm Gräb (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2008)

“Schleiermacher and the Ethics of Authenticity: The Monologen of 1800.” Journal of Religious Ethics 32/3 (Winter 2004): 477-517

“The Forgotten Moralist: Friedrich Schleiermacher and the Science of Spirit.” Harvard Theological Review 96/3 (July 2003): 317-48

Against False Apologetics: Wilhelm Herrmann and Ernst Troeltsch in Conflict. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998

Prof. Sockness in the News

Stanford Daily, March 6, 2006

Expertise

  • Modern Western Religious Thought
  • Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment Theology in Germany
  • Modern Christianity
  • Theological Ethics
  • Friedrich Schleiermacher
  • Ernst Troeltsch

Contact information

Education

B.A., St. Olaf College, 1984
M.A., University of Chicago, 1985
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1996