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Nils F. Schott

James M. Motley Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities

The eighteenth century and its legacies in the twentieth
and twenty-first centuries, philosophy and religion,
philosophies of time

The Humanities Center
Gilman 213
Johns Hopkins University
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Fax: 410-516-7354

Nils F. Schott’s 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.”
These concerns figure prominently in his 2010 dissertation, The Conversion of Knowledge—Enlightenment and Religion in Eighteenth-Century Catechisms. This study is currently being revised for publication; parts have been published separately, in Paul and the Philosophers and in Words: Religious Language Matters. A companion text, The Political Theology of Secular Catechisms is just being drafted. Its readings of texts from the last two centuries (including Kleist, Comte, Engels, Joyce, Enzensberger, Ratzinger and al-Sistani) aim to show how catechisms in question-and-answer form articulate quintessentially modern approaches to the problems of human agency.
Two books co-edited by Nils were published last year: a volume on concepts and practices of love and forgiveness entitled Love and Forgiveness for a More Just World (with Hent de Vries, published by Columbia UP) and an edition and translation of Vladimir Jankélévitch's Henri Bergson (with Alexandre Lefebvre, published by Duke UP).
Nils is also a widely published translator of academic literature. Following the publication of Lambert Wiesing’s Artificial Presence (Stanford UP, 2009) and François Delaporte’s Figures of Medicine (published by Fordham), Henri Atlan’s Fraud was published by Stanford in 2013. In 2014, Experimente im Individuum: Kurt Goldstein und die Fragen des Organismus by Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers, Speculative Drawing by Armen Avanessian and Andreas Töpfer, and The Helmholtz Curves by Henning Schmidgen were published. Avanessian's Irony and the Logic of Modernity and his Present Tense: A Poetics, which he co-wrote with Anke Hennig, came out in 2015 (at de Gruyter and Bloomsbury, respectively).
Other projects are underway, including a translation of Helmuth Plessner's Macht und menschliche Natur commissioned by the Helmuth Plessner Gesellschaft, as well as translations of Henning Schmidgen's Hirn und Zeit, of Ingolf Dalferth's Malum, and of Erich Hörl's Heilige Kanäle.
The recipient of numerous research as well as teaching fellowships, Nils has taught across the humanities disciplines, from philosophy and literary studies via Jewish studies and gender studies to expository writing.


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