“…just as alluring as instructive…”

Henrik Steffens’ Concept of Nature in Science, Humanities and Arts around 1800

Farben-Kugel by Philipp Otto Runge

The conference will disseminate new results from and among international scholars in the investigation of the Danish-Norwegian-German philosopher Henrik Steffens (1773-1845), a key figure in European Idealism and Romanticism. The research will provide a new understanding of his scientific and cultural role within the disciplines of philosophy, history, theology, literature and aesthetics. Henrik Steffens’ ethics and concept of nature have academic and social relevance for today’s thinking, not least in the context of climate crisis.




Thursday 7 October: Steffens in the Contexts of Philosophy and Idealism around 1800

16:00–16:30 Arrival and coffee
16:30–17:00 Introduction, Sandberg & Rasmussen
17:00-17.30 Höfele: Zur Kontinuität zwischen Natur und Geist. Schelling und Steffens im Dialog

First keynote

Gjesdal: Nature and Politics: Staël, Günderrode, Brentano-von Arnim (online)

19:30–20:30 Reception

Friday 8 October: European Perspectives on Steffens: Theology, Anthropology, Aesthetics, Politics, and Bildung

10:00–10:30 Kondrup: Lightning-man or confused person? Henrich Steffens’ Significance for Danish Romantic Literature
10:30–11:00 Garne: Inner and Outer Nature. The Legacy of Steffens in Danish Golden Age Theology
11:00–11:30 Discussion
11.30–12:00 Coffee break
12:00–12:30 Jantzen: Farbentheorie. Steffens und Runge
12:30–13:00 Bielfeldt: Steffens und Spinoza. Etwas über Russische Epistemologie
13:00–13:30 Discussion
13:30–15:30 Lunch break in the staff restaurant
15:30–16:00 Hueck: Bildung als Selbstbestimmung. Henrik Steffens über Idee und Aufgabe der Universitäten

Bergner: Der politische Steffens (online)

16:30–17:00 Discussion

Second keynote

Steigerwald: Schelling and Science (online)

19:30 Conference dinner in town

Saturday 9 October: Steffens’ Concept of Nature: Ecological Perspectives

10:00–10:30 Hühn: Holismus der Natur. Zu einer Grundfigur bei Steffens und Schelling

Tønnesen: Steffens’ ideas about organic meteorology. From the Totalorganismus to planetary health?

11:00–11:30 Discussion
11:30–12:00 Coffee break
12:00–12:30 Ziche: Steffens' Anthropology: 'Innere Naturgeschichte', geological anthropology, and the 'hidden mystery' in humankind
12:30–13:00 Discussion
13:00–13:30 Conclusion, Sandberg
15:00 Excursion to Bakkehuset


2 x 30 minutes for two papers plus 30 minutes for discussion.