European Modernity: Religion, Politics, Culture - ARTS3787

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

School: School of Humanities and Languages

Course Outline: School of Humanities & Languages

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: 24 units of credit in one of the following streams, European Studies or German Studies

CSS Contribution Charge: 1 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


Subject Area: European Studies
This course can also be studied in the following specialisation: German Studies

Whether in public or academic discourse the notions of ‘modernity’ and ‘modern’ are ubiquitous. Yet what they mean is often far from clear. They designate a period, which extends to our own present, but the terms also refer to a set of concepts and contentious issues. Chief among these are the ideas of novelty and innovation, of rationalisation and secularism, but also of critique and disillusionment. Narratives of progress and emancipation compete with more somber analyses, frequently tinged by a nostalgia for what has been lost in the modern age. Taking its cue from Max Weber’s suggestion to think of the processes of modernisation as leading to the disenchantment of the world, the course looks at a series of prominent concepts that have been used to reflect on the idea of modernity and its implications. Readings will include the sociologist Max Weber on science, and on the Protestant ethic and capitalism; political theorists Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt on sovereignty, authority, and totalitarianism; the intellectual historian Reinhart Koselleck on the ideas of revolution and historical time; and the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk on the Nietzschean notion of ‘ressentiment’ – to name just a few.


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