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Annual Johannes Sløk Lecture

About the Sløk Lecture

Johannes Sløk (1916-2001) founded the Department for Intellectual History at Aarhus University in 1967, and served as professor at that department until 1974. His intellectual horizon and research interests were wide ranging, but much of his work is dedicated to Kierkegaard, existentialism, absurdity, ancient philosophy, the renaissance, and Christianity. In honour of Sløk’s significance for Danish research in intellectual history, The Annual Johannes Sløk Lecture was inaugurated in 2006.

The honour of giving the Annual Johannes Sløk Lecture is given to an internationally recognized and distinguished researcher, who has made outstanding contributions in intellectual history within an area that, in a broad sense, was or would have been of interest to Johannes Sløk.


Past Sløk Lecturers

  • 2006: Manfred Frank, Universität Tübingen
  • 2007: Quintin Skinner, Cambridge University
  • 2010: Jonathan Israel, Princeton University
  • 2011: Martin Jay, UC Berkeley
  • 2012: Trond Berg Eriksen, Oslo University
  • 2014: Anthony Grafton, Princeton University

Sløk Lecture 2015

Professor Anthony Pagden, UCLA.

Oct. 2, 14:00-16:00, Building 1441, Auditorium 3


Today we think of nationalism, as largely tribal, chauvinistic and reactionary. But the nationalism which emerged in the first half of the nineteenth century – the nationalism of John Stuart Mill, Benjamin Constant, Alexis de Tocqueville, Jeremy Bentham, Giuseppe Mazzini among others – was dedicated to the idea of a community of nations, each politically independent but sharing a common cultural and legal heritage, which could be broadly identified as constitutive of Europe. It was this, for instance, rather than a federal union, which Mazzini meant by calling for a future, “United States of Europe”. In this lecture, I will describe how this new conception of Europe, although it owed much to earlier Enlightenment ideas about a European “republic”, attempted to incorporate the new perception of the “nation” as a quasi-organic body and as a representative democratically- constituted community, into a broader cultural whole.

Download poster here