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Religion as “Agent of Change”: Jewish and other Responses to Modernity in Germany, 1780-1860

April 15, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The presentation explores the ambivalent role of Judaism and religiosity during the Sattelzeit, when German Jewry was confronted with deep reaching, sometimes threatening social change. The presentation sheds new light on Jewish coping strategies and the transformation of a socio-cultural system shaped by religious practices and knowledge orders in response to modernity. It will show how a new group of Jewish “movers and shakers” used religion and tradition to translate innovation and to make change socially relevant. Focusing on lived experience in communities beyond the centers of the reform movement, the presentation offers a fresh perspective of this astonishing transformation.

Simone Lässig is the director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. and professor of modern History at the University of Braunschweig. Her research has cut across the fields of German history, Jewish history, and the history of knowledge. She is currently working on two projects: a reconsideration of family and kinship in the modern era (1800-2000) through the lens of a multi-generation family biography and a book, provisionally entitled Coping with Disruptive Change: Jews, Middle Class Culture, and Social Transformation in early 19th Century Germany.

Moderation: KAREN HAGEMANN | UNC-Chapel Hill, Department of History

This event is part of the North Carolina German Studies Seminar & Workshop Series co-sponsored by CES.


April 15, 2018
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


569 Hamilton Hall
102 Emerson Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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