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Dead Without God

Online lecture by philosopher Franz Josef Wetz on May 5th

The topic of the lecture by gbs advisory board and HAI board member Franz Josef Wetz in the "Humanistic Salon" of the Duesseldorfer Aufklärungsdienst was chosen long before "Corona" became the predominant topic in the media. The images of the pandemic's consequences, however, prompted many people to take a closer look at their own finiteness. Wetz' lecture on a "new farewell culture" will be streamed live on May 5th on the gbs YouTube channel, viewers can join the discussion.

How to deal with the fact that loved ones leave forever? How to cope with one's own permanent vanishing in the foreseeable future? Many people claim to be merely afraid of dying, but not afraid of death. Nevertheless, no one remains unmoved by the end of their life. How then is solace possible without religion? How do we deal rationally with our transience - in a time in which the culture of dying, burial, and mourning is undergoing dramatic change?

In his search for contemporary relief in coping with death, Franz Josef Wetz does not succumb to religious illusions or shallow rational appeasements.The lecture "Tot ohne Gott" ("Dead without God") draws on the author's book of the same name, which made it onto the "hotlist of the best books of the year" in 2019. Editors of the gbs-newsletter judged the work: "A clever, brilliantly written educational and comforting book with great practical relevance for life. Highly recommended!"

Prof. Dr. Franz Josef Wetz, born in 1958, studied philosophy, German literature, and theology in Mainz, Frankfurt/M., and Gießen. For his doctoral thesis "Das nackte Daß. Zur Frage der Faktizität" he received the dissertation prize of the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen. He completed his habilitation in philosophy in 1992 and has been professor of philosophy at the University of Education in Schwäbisch Gmünd since 1994. He primarily focuses on questions of ethics, the philosophy of law, cultural philosophy, and natural philosophy. Wetz is a member of the advisory board of the Giordano Bruno Foundation and a member of the board of directors of the Hans-Albert-Institute (HAI). His publications include the books "Baustelle Körper. Bioethik der Selbstachtung" (2009), "Lob der Untreue. Eine Unverschämtheit" (2011), "Rebellion der Selbstachtung. Gegen Demütigung", "Exzesse. Wer tanzt, tötet nicht" (2016) and "Tot ohne Gott. Eine neue Kultur des Abschieds" (2018).

The live broadcast of the lecture from the virtual studio in Düsseldorf begins at 7 pm. Access is available via the gbs YouTube channel or this direct link to the broadcast. The YouTube live stream will be embedded on several pages (including this page, see above). Questions and comments on the presentation can be submitted via YouTube's live chat feature or by e-mail (the e-mail address will be published on YouTube before the broadcast). Viewers' reactions are collected during the broadcast and passed on to Franz Josef Wetz in the studio. The online event is organized by the Düsseldorfer Aufklärungsdienst (DA) in cooperation with the Giordano Bruno Foundation, which will increase its online activities in the course of the Corona pandemic (see the gbs press release "Enlightenment in Times of Corona", dated 24 April). 

Further online lectures are planned for the coming weeks ("Virtual Bruno Academy"). The respective dates will be announced in the foundation's respectively the Humanistic Press Service's (hpd) event calendar.  A tip in advance: From Tuesday, May 12, an online guided tour for children through the currently (in the course of Corona) closed Neanderthal Museum will be available on the YouTube channel of the Evokids project. More information will follow soon.