Event

Nov 11, 2022
Interference Patterns of Religion and Science in Werner Heisenberg’s Popular Writings

Werner Heisenberg published numerous books and held many speeches for a lay audience without an indebt training in physics. By the late-1940s these publications together with reviews and biographical sketches outweigh Heisenberg’s «technical publications [research papers]» (Cassidy and Baker 1984: i). In many of his popular writings, Heisenberg discusses modern physics using contemporary problems in philosophy, politics, education, art, or religion. He uses historical narratives or epistemological problems to exemplify the relevance of modern physics to the wider public. Religion is relevant on two levels of Heisenberg’s popular writings: First, he makes explicit claims about religion in relation to the history of modern physics and contemporary society, second, he parallels knowledge production with experience of nature and draws on aesthetic patterns of German Romanticism.

In this talk, I introduce my PhD project on the interference patterns of religion and science in Werner Heisenberg’s popular writings. First, I present the theoretical framework and scope of my analysis. The combination of approaches from the cultural study of religion and the history of science enables me to study Heisenberg’s communication about religion as an aspect of his scientific persona and a characteristic of the history of religion. Second, I zoom in on the analysis to exemplifying the two levels on which religion is relevant in his popular writings. Ultimately, I suggest that Heisenberg’s arguments about religion and the form of his writings about knowledge production are complementary, which stand in a tradition German Romanticism and the bürgerliche ideal of Bildung.

Address
Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany
2022-11-11T14:00:00SAVE IN I-CAL 2022-11-11 14:00:00 2022-11-11 16:00:00 Interference Patterns of Religion and Science in Werner Heisenberg’s Popular Writings Werner Heisenberg published numerous books and held many speeches for a lay audience without an indebt training in physics. By the late-1940s these publications together with reviews and biographical sketches outweigh Heisenberg’s «technical publications [research papers]» (Cassidy and Baker 1984: i). In many of his popular writings, Heisenberg discusses modern physics using contemporary problems in philosophy, politics, education, art, or religion. He uses historical narratives or epistemological problems to exemplify the relevance of modern physics to the wider public. Religion is relevant on two levels of Heisenberg’s popular writings: First, he makes explicit claims about religion in relation to the history of modern physics and contemporary society, second, he parallels knowledge production with experience of nature and draws on aesthetic patterns of German Romanticism. In this talk, I introduce my PhD project on the interference patterns of religion and science in Werner Heisenberg’s popular writings. First, I present the theoretical framework and scope of my analysis. The combination of approaches from the cultural study of religion and the history of science enables me to study Heisenberg’s communication about religion as an aspect of his scientific persona and a characteristic of the history of religion. Second, I zoom in on the analysis to exemplifying the two levels on which religion is relevant in his popular writings. Ultimately, I suggest that Heisenberg’s arguments about religion and the form of his writings about knowledge production are complementary, which stand in a tradition German Romanticism and the bürgerliche ideal of Bildung. Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany Europe/Berlin public