At a time when there is talk of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, the question arises as to the role and status of truth in democracy. In conversation with the historian Sophia Rosenfeld (UPenn), Alexander Görlach discusses truth and probability, science and faith in liberal democracy.
Sophia Rosenfeld is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches European and American intellectual and cultural history with a special emphasis on the Enlightenment, the trans-Atlantic Age of Revolutions, and the legacy of the eighteenth century for modern democracy. She is the author of A Revolution in Language: The Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (Stanford, 2001); Common Sense: A Political History (Harvard, 2011), which won the Mark Lynton History Prize and the Society for the History of the Early American Republic Book Prize; and Democracy and Truth: A Short History (Penn Press, 2019). Her articles and essays have appeared in leading scholarly journals, including the American Historical Review, the Journal of Modern History, French Historical Studies, and the William and Mary Quarterly, as well as such outlets as The Washington Post, Dissent, and, frequently, The Nation. From 2013 to 2017, she co-edited the journal Modern Intellectual History. In 2022, A Cultural History of Ideas, a 6 volume book series covering antiquity to the present for which she was co-general editor with Peter Struck (Penn, Classical Studies), appeared with Bloomsbury and won the Association of American Publishers’ award for best reference work in the humanities. Her writing has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and Chinese.
Alexander Görlach is a linguist and theologian who works on narratives of identity, politics, and religion, and liberal democracy, as well as secularism, pluralism, and cosmopolitanism. He was a visiting scholar to both Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Center for European Studies and a J. F. Kennedy Memorial Policy Fellow at that Center, in the academic years 2014-2017. Alex is senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, a fellow at the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University in Madrid, a senior research associate at Cambridge University’s Institute on Religion and International Studies, a senior advisor to the Berggruen Institute, and a honorary professor of ethics and theology at Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany.
Dr. Görlach is an acclaimed writer and op-edist. His opinion pieces and essays are published internationally. He is, amongst others, a contributor to The New York Times, American Prospect, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and DIE ZEIT. Alex is a columnist for WirtschaftsWoche, Germany's leading business weekly. He also operates as Editor at Large for the Berggruen Institute's magazine, The World Post.
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 14, 2023; 6:30-8:00 PM
Location: 1014 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10028