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Nils F. Schott

(Johns Hopkins University)

Fellow in the Context of the International Research Fellowship Program IRF 2012

May–September 2012

The Political Theology of Secular Catechisms

Nils F. Schott studied comparative literature and philosophy at Johns Hopkins and at The American University of Paris. His primary research interests are eighteenth-century literature and philosophy, their legacies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and their relevance today. His particular focus is on the role the theories, beliefs, and practices grouped under the heading “religion” play in the elaboration of a self-styled rational view of the world. In another major aspect of this work, he draws on the philosophy of time to shed new light on central concepts such as “conversion” and “revolution.” He is currently revising his dissertation, The Conversion of Knowledge—Enlightenment and Religion in Eighteenth-Century Catechisms, for publication. The focus of his work during his tenure at the DHC is research for a companion project, The Political Theology of Secular Catechisms, which explores articulations of quintessentially modern approaches to the problems of human agency in authors from the last two centuries (including Kleist, Comte, Engels, Joyce, Enzensberger, Ratzinger and al-Sistani). 
He is also the translator of several books and numerous articles (see the CV for a full list).