Krull, Wilhelm/Krull, Wilhelm/Lippold, Anna Luisa/Pelluchon, Corine/Venzke, Ingo/Horn, Christoph (2022). Summary. In: Wilhelm Krull/ Anna Luisa Lippold/ Corine Pelluchon/ Ingo Venzke/ Christoph Horn/ Anna Katsman (Eds.), Towards a New Enlightenment - The Case for Future-Oriented Humanities (62-63). Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. https://doi.org/10.14361/9783839465707-009
Humanity is faced with fundamental challenges and, taking research-based scenarios seriously, it will continue to be confronted
with a host of global, interwoven, and increasingly complex crises. As a result of this seemingly ever-increasing dynamic,
uncertainty and urgency seem to dominate our future. Considering the possibility to secure the uncertain and to postpone the
pressing is no longer an option. Instead, we suggest making a case for future-oriented humanities, which may provide a foundation
for a New Enlightenment carried by an interdisciplinary, trans-sectoral collectivity. In this respect, we propose the following:
The overarching goal must be to recouple the humanities with disciplines and sectors that have traditionally defined the direction
and scope of tools used to cope with diverse challenges.
The humanities should strive for providing the much-needed compass called ‘becoming human in the 21st century’, which may
structure, shift, and align all current and future steps towards individual, collective, and institutional change.
Facing the need to build bridges between disciplines and sectors, cultures and continents, as well as past, present, and future,
the humanities must make use of their integrative capacity.
To contribute to the range of options for a constructive, innovative, and positive future, the humanities can and should use
methods which go beyond criticism and critique, including the development of programmes that moderate and successfully recombine
competencies from different disciplines and sectors.
A fundamentally revised idea of institution-building that facilitates creative collaboration is required to realize the humanities’
A New Enlightenment as a project which essentially aims to overcome various schemes of domination may be carried by a diverse,
yet – and perhaps even thereby – united range of actors.
Joint endeavours may include: The creation of a new approach to coping with complexity, the exploration of new perspectives
for a dynamic process of universalizing that we can all share as human beings, the inquiry into new practices that systematically
place environmental matters at the core, and the investigation of new ways of thinking about what is in the public interest
and how to strengthen resilience in this regard.
All in all, this Discussion Paper is a plea for a fundamental reorientation of the humanities as well as a reorientation of
the public discourse calling the humanities and social sciences to action.74 But more importantly, it is an invitation to embark upon a journey with us towards creating the conceptual foundations of
a New Enlightenment.