Introduction - "The Imperative of Responsibility": Understanding Hans Jonas's Main Opus in the Field of Ethics of Responsibility

Event Type
Kick Off Event

Bonn, 25.04.2019

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) within the framework of the Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research

Introduction to the event series

  • Andreas Stamm, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Main lecture

  • Christian Wiese, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main


  • Jakob Rhyner,Scientific Director Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research, University of Bonn


Forty years ago, the epochal book "The Imperative of Responsibility" by the Jewish philosopher Hans Jonas was first published. It has decisively influenced the environmental policy debate in Germany and beyond. Basically, Jonas recommends a very critical approach to new technologies whose potential global and irreversible effects cannot be foreseen. The Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research used the 40th anniversary to reflect on whether the ecological imperative formulated by Jonas needs not be translated differently today into political action and the application of technologies.

Find more information about the event series here

The kick-off event on April 25, 2019, provided a unique opportunity to learn about the philosophical, theological, and ethical foundations of Hans Jonas's work. The lecture was given by Prof. Christian Wiese. Since 2010, Christian Wiese holds the Martin Buber Chair for Jewish Thought and Philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. For the 100th birthday of Hans Jonas in 2003 he published his memoirs and an important book on the philosopher: "The Life and Thought of Hans Jonas - Jewish Dimensions".

"Judaism and the Phenomenon of Life: Religious, Philosophical, and Ethical Dimensions of Hans Jonas' Thought on Nature and Technology"

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Event information

Date /h
25.04.2019 / 17:00 - 19:00

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Lecture hall
Tulpenfeld 6
53113 Bonn


Andreas Stamm
Phone +49 (0)228 94927-174
Fax +49 (0)228 94927-130

Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Tulpenfeld 6
D-53113 Bonn
Telefon +49(0)22894927-0
Fax +49(0)22894927-130