On September 16-17, the Philosophy and Religious Studies Programme successfully hosted the international conference “Contemporary Perspectives on Critical and Systems Theory”. 14 scholars from Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin and North America established a constructive dialogue between those theories oriented towards the normative task of advancing social justice and emancipation, especially the Frankfurt School, and those theories dedicated to a value-neutral understanding of modern, highly dynamic societies, especially social systems theory in the version presented by Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998).

Participants included, among others, Profs. Elena Esposito and Giancarlo Corsi from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, Prof. Laurindo Dias Minhoto from the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Prof. Anders LaCour from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, and Espen Hammer from Temple University, USA. Prof. Agnes Heller, one of the most distinguished philosophers of our age and Prof. Emeritus at the New School for Social Research, USA, presented a lecture on utopia and dystopia. After the conference Prof. Heller met with a group of students to reflect on her experiences under totalitarian regimes and to discuss the challenges of cosmopolitanism.

Hans-Georg Moeller introduces Elena Esposito

Agnes Heller in conversation with students at Stanley Ho East Asia College

Agnes Heller, Iu Vai Pan and Mario Wenning meet with students

Critical Theorists and Systems Theorists in front of the FAH building