Rethinking Paradigms of Disenchantment in the Reformation World

with Alexandra Walsham (University of Cambridge)

A study day organized by the Center for European Philosophy


Friday 22 March 2019, 13:00-20:00


University of Antwerp, Stadscampus, Room S.004, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp.

Description and program

This study day will focus critical attention on Max Weber’s influential thesis that the Protestant Reformation initiated the process that he called ‘the disenchantment of the world’, as well as upon how – and why – these claims have been contested, refined and modified in more recent scholarship. It will encourage participants to consider the complex ways in which the religious revolutions that unfolded between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries both challenged and reanimated the place of the sacred and the status of the supernatural. Following an introductory overview, broad discussion of the intellectual and cultural repercussions of the Reformations will be combined with close study of selected key documents. The aim will be to probe the complexities, paradoxes and unintended consequences of religious movements that have long been accorded a pre-eminent place in the making of the ‘modern’, secular world.

13:00-14:30 Part I: The Idea of Disenchantment in Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic (introduction and close reading session) 

14:45-16:45 Part II: Rethinking Paradigms of Disenchantment in the Reformation World (guest lecture and interactive seminar by Alexandra Walsham)

17:00-18:00 French wine & Dutch cheese dinner

18:00-19:30 Part III: The Reformation an Agent of Secular Modernity? (workshop and discussion)

Practical information

No prior reading or preparation is required. All the study material will be provided in printed and electronic form at the start of the study day.

Participation fee: €20 (course material and catering included), to be paid in advance.

Registration: please write an e-mail to confirm your participation before Friday 15 March to

Course coordinators: Herbert De Vriese and Guido Vanheeswijck (University of Antwerp)

This study day is part of series of lectures and study days devoted to a critical analysis of philosophical discourse on reenchantment. For more information, follow this link.