Brent Sockness

Associate Professor of Religious Studies and, by courtesy, German Studies

Professor Sockness’s teaching covers a variety of thinkers, movements, and topics in the history of European and North American religious thought since the seventeenth century and explores the ways in which Christian theology has undergone modernization via its engagement with the rise of modern philosophy, the natural sciences, scholarly history, and liberal political institutions. His research has focused on German post-Kantian theology and ethics, in particular the thought of the early nineteenth-century theologian, philosopher, and humanist Friedrich Schleiermacher and the early twentieth-century theologian, historian of religion, social philosopher, and philosopher of history Ernst Troeltsch. He is currently completing a book on Troeltsch’s systematic moral theory in relation to his historicist commitments.

Professor Sockness holds a B.A. in Economics from St. Olaf College and an M.A. in Religious Studies and Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Chicago. He is author of Against False Apologetics: Wilhelm Herrmann and Ernst Troeltsch in Conflict and numerous published articles. He is co-editor of two large international conference volumes: Schleiermacher, the Study of Religion, the Future of Theology and Kommunikation in Philosophy, Religion und Gesellschaft. A former three-term Vice-President of the Schleiermacher-Gesellschaft e.V., he has held fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the American Academy in Berlin, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He serves on the Board of Consultants of the Journal of Religion.


BLDG 70 RM 72B

Research Interests