Giving for a Good Cause?

Public lecture series by the Thematic Research Network "Philanthropy, Giving and Collecting"

Why do people in different cultures and eras give money for a good cause? What role does this cultural practice play with respect to societal cohesion, orientation to the common good and conserving cultural heritage? These questions will be taken up in a public lecture series at Heidelberg University in the 2021 summer semester entitled "Philanthropy, Giving and Collecting - A Timeless Cultural and Social Practice?" The series starts on 21 April 2021 and comprises a total of six lectures in German or English. It takes place on Wednesdays, starting at 16:30. The lectures will be transmitted by live stream.

The interdisciplinary lecture series is organised by the Thematic Research Network "Philanthropy, Giving and Collecting in the Longue Dure. Pathways to an Intercultural Analysis". This network has brought social sciences and humanities researchers together to develop the foundations of a sustainable theory of philanthropy. In so doing they want to connect social science models with perspectives from outside Western Europe, also adopting viewpoints from antiquity, regional studies and religious studies. The online lecture series organised in the context of this project will explore the topic area "Philanthropy, Giving and Collecting" in different cultures and eras and discuss it from an interdisciplinary angle. The speakers are academics from Heidelberg University and scholars from abroad.

During the kick-off event on 21 April 2021, Kirsten Korte, a managing director of the association "Zukunft Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar", and Dr Volker Then, executive director of the Centre for Social Investment of the Max-Weber-Institute of Sociology at Heidelberg University, will introduce the topic. Five more sessions will follow between May and July 2021, dealing with philanthropy in 21st-century France, comparing current efforts to practise cultural philanthropy in Europe and North America, and engaging with current trends in U.S. sponsorship activity and the example of the Clinton Foundation. A lecture on temple patronage in medieval South India will provide a more historical perspective. The series will end on 14 July 2021 with an interdisciplinary panel discussion.

The online lecture series "Philanthropy, Giving and Collecting" at Heidelberg University is being conducted in cooperation with the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The link to the live stream will be posted on the series’ website in good time before the respective event begins. Further information about the research network and the individual presentations can also be found there.

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