List of all events


Der Begriff der Zeitenwende, von Olaf Scholz kurz nach dem Überfall Russlands vor applaudierenden Abgeordneten ausgerufen, steht für eine fundamentale Neuorientierung. Die Logik des Krieges müsse wieder Einzug finden ins Denken und Handeln, um unsere Freiheit zu schützen. Die Ankündigung, 100 Milliarden Euro für die Verteidigung ausgeben zu wollen, folgt dieser Logik genauso wie die Lieferung schwerer Waffen an die Ukraine; ein Schritt, den Scholz lange Zeit für ausgeschlossen gehalten hatte und der von den Intellektuellen des Landes höchst unterschiedlich gewertet wird. Auf der Eröffnu…

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Event data
  • Wed. 08 June 2022
  • 18:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

“Philosophy” took its name from the Greek word for “wisdom”. Yet academic philosophy in particular has progressed very little since then. In university circles and seminars, wisdom is scarcer than rare earth elements. For this reason, among others, many people believe that wisdom is a vague concept with little practical application, particularly as wisdom can neither be practised nor cultivated. But is this true? Empirical studies are few and far between. However, practical paths to wisdom do indeed exist. Philosopher Michael Hampe, who is in the process of launching a wisdom project at ETH Zurich,…

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Event data
  • Wed. 08 June 2022
  • 21:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Sign language interpreting Available
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

It is quite possible that not only defence policy is undergoing a paradigm shift, but pretty much everything that we, as disaster-proofed citizens of modern democracies, take for granted: stable prosperity, ever increasing lifetime security, greater and greater global range. What we’re calling “crises” right now are most likely not temporary interruptions in our normalcy, but rather signs that “the West” urgently needs to reinvent itself if it is to prevail in the face of global warming, mass extinction, migration, war and the new imperialism. Otherwise it will have outlived its future. An assessmen…

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Event data
  • Thu. 09 June 2022
  • 18:00
  • Sartory-Säle, Ostermann-Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Politicians must always have something to say. But talking is dangerous. Every utterance can be taken out of context and deliberately misinterpreted by political opponents. Nothing is as simple as one would like, but explaining complex matters is a unique challenge. Anyone who wishes to succeed in politics learns early on what voters supposedly want to hear. And that may include half-truths. In “Was Politiker nicht sagen”, political veteran Gregor Gysi explains how communication works in politics, why elected representatives can’t be nominated according to professionalism, why he speaks mainl…

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Event data
  • Thu. 09 June 2022
  • 18:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

How can we as people orient ourselves in the world? Are we bound by a rigid system of divine order or are we free to question everything? Author Senthuran Varatharajah can talk articulately about both extremes on the basis of a vigorous intellectual vita. Born in Sri Lanka in 1984, he came at a young age to Germany as a refugee, where he was taught German by the Jehova’s Witnesses. Both a theologist and a philosopher, he regularly explores the deepest questions of all. He is the author of multiple critically acclaimed novels, including his most recent one, “Rot (Hunger”). A discussion of philo…

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Event data
  • Thu. 09 June 2022
  • 19:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

An engineer wants to do work they can be proud of, but is continually forced to churn out kludges due to deadline pressure. An office worker learns that their company is breaking the law and wrestles with the pros and cons of blowing the whistle. Just two examples of work-related conflicts in which many behave is if they are just small cogs in a vast machine, powerless individuals in a system of inflexible roles and hierarchies. Does the capitalist principle of utility maximisation compel us to conformity and moral cold-heartedness? Can this situation be changed, can work be saved?…

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Event data
  • Thu. 09 June 2022
  • 19:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Sign language interpreting Available
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

In English


All America is talking about the book “Woke Racism”. Linguist John McWhorter sees in woke antiracism a movement of self-appointed arbiters of an antiracism that breaks all rules of reason, employs racist arguments and endangers the American social fabric. For him, this take on identity politics is tantamount to a new religion, and he explains incisively why it is too radical – and not antiracist at all. He argues that this unintended neoracism is wrong and dangerous and imperils integrative discourse. However, McWhorter is not without hope, and describes a possible path to justice with the poten…

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Event data
  • Thu. 09 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available
    • English

3Sat "Scobel" Live-recording


Less than half of all states are liberal democracies. Hybrid systems and authoritarian forms of government are spreading. Not only China and Russia, declared enemies of democratic systems, are confronting democracies with numerous and often entirely novel challenges. The myriad crises of our time – pandemic, climate emergency, rising social inequality and the influence exerted by overwhelmingly powerful digital corporations – exacerbate the problem. Political scientist Nicole Deitelhoff, Director of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, talks with democracy and sustainability researcher Pat…

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Event data
  • Thu. 09 June 2022
  • 21:00
  • Altes Pfandhaus
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Money is power. But what if the nature of money were to fundamentally change? As is occurring right now in the form of cryptocurrencies, and foremost among them: Bitcoin! For its fervent adherents, Bitcoin, based on blockchain technology, is nothing less than a revolution in our planet’s political and economic systems. They dream of a world without sovereign currencies, central banks, exchange rates, wars, and not least: without inflation! Critics, by contrast, regard Bitcoin as an anti-state, inherently criminal and ecologically devastating speculation object of digital elites. A discussion w…

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Event data
  • Fri. 10 June 2022
  • 18:00
  • Altes Pfandhaus
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

The never-ending crisis has left its mark on the German spirit. A broad-based study by the Identity Foundation Düsseldorf and the rheingold Institute reveals that many people are are succumbing to a no-future outlook in the face of the problems they experience. But a spirit of optimism is also emerging. In activism with like-minded people, more and more are seizing the opportunity to fight back against their own hopelessness. The philosopher and writer Thea Dorn (most recent work: “Trost. Briefe an Max") has dealt in depth with the German spirit in her work and reflected intensively on ou…

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Event data
  • Fri. 10 June 2022
  • 18:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

This event has been cancelled.


Almost 30 years ago, the cultural scholar Helmut Lethen brought down the wrath of offence culture upon himself with this cult book “Verhaltenslehren der Kälte”. He pleaded for an acceptance of the fact that individuals don roles and masks instead of always being authentic and real, and prefer maintaining distance over fusing with others to form communities. The reissue of this book falls in a time of war, in which the “masculine” virtues of heroism and combat, coldness and self-control, are back in vogue. Helmut Lethen offers insights into the relationship between mind and power, his intellec…

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Event data
  • Fri. 10 June 2022
  • 19:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

In English


The number of people who do not identify with the biological sex they were born with is continually growing. What does it mean to experience oneself as trans? What bodily, social and legal consequences does this entail? Neutral questions in and of themselves, but the discussion is becoming increasingly emotionalised – not least within the LGBT community itself, as well as in parts of feminist discourse. This is no surprise, given that the assignment as man or woman is one of the key distinctions in human existence. Trans shatters this pattern, challenges it and thus demands that we accord the m…

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Event data
  • Fri. 10 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available
    • English

To head off our impending self-extinction, we as humans must learn to live with the fact that we are animals, and will never be able to overcome our physical and emotional vulnerability. Since the dawn of time, humans have contemplated the question of what makes us human. Are we nothing other than animals capable of reason? Or are we the crown of creation, even if we don’t believe in creation? Does that make us “better animals”? Or “worse animals”, because we have lost touch with nature? Philosopher Markus Gabriel tackles these questions openly, insightfully and without prejudices and ties the lates…

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Event data
  • Fri. 10 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Sonia Mikich is one of Germany’s best-known foreign correspondents. She served as Moscow correspondent for the German national public broadcaster ARD for many years, and regularly reported from war zones such as Afghanistan and Chechnya. From her years as a programme director for regional public broadcaster WDR, she understands the complexities of compiling information in critical situations and reporting it appropriately. She talks about her eventful life, which brought her into contact with multiple cultures at an early age as a child in London and later led her round the world (“Aufs Gan…

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Event data
  • Fri. 10 June 2022
  • 21:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Dies ist ein Programmpunkt des WDR 5-Radiotags, die Veranstaltung dauert daher nur 60 Minuten.


Angst ist ein schlechter Ratgeber, so weiß schon das Sprichwort. Und doch gehört die Angst unteilbar zum Menschsein dazu. Gerade in Zeiten der Krise, der plötzlichen Veränderung oder einer drohenden Gefahr, deren Ausmaß nicht zur Gänze bekannt ist, nimmt die Angst zu. Wie können wir uns in die Freiheit versetzen, unsere Ängste zu akzeptieren, womöglich sogar produktiv zu nutzen? Wo beginnt kopflose Panik und wie lässt sich diese vermeiden? Über nötige Resilienz und darüber, wie wir uns gegen eigene Ängste unempfänglicher machen können, spricht Bärbel Frischmann, Professorin für die Geschichte der Philosophie a…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 19:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Dies ist ein Programmpunkt des WDR 5-Radiotags, die Veranstaltung dauert daher nur 60 Minuten.


„Teamgeist", „Fair Play“, „You‘ll never walk alone”. Gerade Mannschaftssport gilt als Schule des Lebens; Vereine und Sportveranstaltungen jeglicher Größe sind Orte des Zusammenkommens und des geselligen Austauschs über den Sport hinaus. In den vergangenen zwei Jahren war vieles, was zuvor selbstverständlich war, nicht mehr möglich. Was wurde da versäumt? Wie wichtig ist das gemeinsame Sportausüben und das gemeinsame Erleben im Stadion oder im Konzertsaal für die Herzens- und Menschenbildung? Lassen sich die Defizite wieder aufholen? Oder haben wir dauerhaft Entscheidendes verlernt? Darüber spricht der…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 17:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Dies ist ein Programmpunkt des WDR 5-Radiotags, die Veranstaltung dauert daher nur 60 Minuten.


„Was ist der Mensch?“ So lautet eine der berühmten vier Fragen Immanuel Kants. Eine Frage, die auch am Urgrund unseres Zusammenlebens steht, zielt sie doch auf unseren menschlichen Kern: Wer oder was sind wir eigentlich? Doch gibt es dafür eine einfache Antwort? Was bedeutet Identität für unsere Gesellschaft, für unsere Sprache und für unser Miteinander? Ist sie ein starres Konstrukt? Oder müssen wir sie nicht vielmehr fluide verstehen? Die Philosophin, Schriftstellerin und Kulturwissenschaftlerin Mithu Sanyal hat diese Fragen in ihrem gefeierten und ausgezeichneten Roman „Identitti“ mit viel Witz verhandel…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 15:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Dies ist ein Programmpunkt des WDR 5-Radiotags, die Veranstaltung dauert daher nur 60 Minuten.


Immer wieder erprobt die Menschheit das Leben in „idealen" Welten. Dazu zählten bislang etwa anarchistische Reformkommunen, eine spirituelle Weltbürger:innen-Stadt in Indien, hocheffiziente Smart Cities oder geplante Unterwasserstädte, aber auch Kolonien auf Mond und Mars. Das Wunschland findet sich immer wieder zwischen sozialen und technologischen Utopien und hat das Potenzial, die Welt zu verändern. Der Soziologe Stefan Selke („Wunschland: Von irdischen Utopien zu Weltraumkolonien. Eine Reise in die Zukunft unserer Gesellschaft“) erklärt, welche gesellschaftlichen Transformationen es bislang ga…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 13:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Dies ist ein Programmpunkt des WDR 5-Radiotags, die Veranstaltung dauert daher nur 60 Minuten.


Klima, Corona, Krieg … Die Zahl und Frequenz der Krisen auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen scheint zuzunehmen. Gibt es eigentlich noch einen Zustand der stabilen Normalität? Die Herausforderungen für die (Welt-)Gemeinschaft wie für das Individuum jedenfalls sind enorm. Und immer sind es Kinder und Jugendliche, die besonders betroffen sind. Wie gehen wir mit den Krisenerfahrungen und Herausforderungen um, gerade im Hinblick auf die Heranwachsenden? Was können Familien, was können die Institutionen tun, um Resilienz zu fördern und zu entwickeln? Weiß die Philosophie Rat? Darüber sprechen die Psycholog…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 11:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

The pandemic imposed distance, mask and information obligations on all of us. It showed us that we cannot meet our responsibilities to one another without assuming obligations. The German Bundestag was unable to enact a vaccine mandate. This body is as uncertain as the society it represents. How reasonable can we expect people in general to be? When does reason demand that obligations be imposed on them? Do we need to strengthen citizens’ mindfulness of their duties, do we need to institute a mandatory year of service to hold our society together? Or do we instead need to champion freedom for t…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 19:30
  • WDR Funkhaus, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Sign language interpreting Available
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

What is love? Is it the meaning of life, a political alliance, an illusion, or and end in itself? Or is it simply impossible? In her highly acclaimed book “Radikale Zärtlichkeit”, Şeyda Kurt dissects our comfortingly familiar love norms – and explores how traditional relationship models can fail on the basis of her own biography. Because love does not exist in a vacuum. It is a mirror of our society. And it’s political. What might a radical reinvention of love look like? And how can people jointly prevail against the isms of our society – as partners, families and friends? Mithu Sanyal (“Identitti…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • Kulturkirche Köln
  • Accessibility

“War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it”, wrote Erasmus of Rotterdam in the first antiwar tract of early modern times. The conditions under which a war might be deemed “just” are as hotly debated as whether a pacifistic position can be justified in the face of an offensive war. At present, pacifism appears to be a difficult stance to take. While a majority consider it irresponsible, others insist that it is the key to a peaceful world. In a wide-ranging discussion, Barbara Bleisch (“Pazifismus – Ideengeschichte Theorie und Praxis”) and Thomas Kater (“Der verweigerte Friede”) explor…

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Event data
  • Sat. 11 June 2022
  • 21:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Where have we encountered death, and how does that change our lives? How do people imagine their deaths, and why does it often happen differently? What did the corona pandemic change? Elke Büdenbender, legal scholar and wife of Germany’s Federal President, and her good friend, the doctor, theologist and philosopher Eckhard Nagel, one of Germany’s leading transplantation surgeons, talk openly and personally, wisely and knowledgeably, about something that affects us all. Both of them have up-close, personal experience with mortality and loss. The First Lady was forced to face her own vuln…

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Event data
  • Sun. 12 June 2022
  • 11:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

“It is a privilege to see the brain, and how it pulses. That is something awe-inspiring, something holy. We all know that the brain is the seat of our soul, our personality.” Prof. Dr. Peter Vajkoczy is the Director of the Clinic for Neurosurgery at the famed Berlin Charité, and offers astonishing insights into the work of a brain surgeon in the high-risk zone and into the human brain itself. Thinking about the brain and the soul has an age-old tradition: even in ancient times, physicians treating gladiators recognized that injuries to the brain always entailed a loss of cognitive function. Ever…

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Event data
  • Sun. 12 June 2022
  • 11:30
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

The “new” world order after the Wall came down promised benevolent globalisation, better democracy and growing prosperity for all. The motor for all of this was supposed to be modern capitalism, which was even touted as having the power to democratise China and the rest of the world. What actually emerged was a new inequality machine that generated a whole array of problems, visible in such manifestations as the Ukraine war and the climate emergency. Dazed and confused mainstream political parties and a spreading loss of confidence in democratic institutions are just as much a consequence as dou…

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Event data
  • Sun. 12 June 2022
  • 17:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Induction loop Available
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

In English


Every word was monitored. Not even her parents told the truth. Lea Ypi believed she was living in the freest nation on earth. But in fact, her homeland of Albania was the last Stalinist country in Europe. Today, Ypi teaches political theory at the London School of Economics: from Kant to Marx, from Hegel to Hayek. Ypi is still pondering the deep disillusionment of her youth, both as a writer and a philosopher. In her memoir “Frei – Erwachsen werden am Ende des Kalten Krieges”, she examines the great questions of our time: What does it mean to be free – to live free? What mental, moral and politic…

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Event data
  • Sun. 12 June 2022
  • 19:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available
    • English

War has always given birth to images. They render the inconceivable visible for all to see, are used to confer or deny legitimacy, and as strategy and propaganda tools. Today, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok serve as inexhaustible sources of images in wartime. We can observe the war in the Ukraine in real time right on our phones. We can use them to express solidarity effortlessly with just a tap and affirm our activism by simply adding a hashtag. How are images instrumentalised, what stories do they tell? What changes for us, the recipients? And what strategies can we use to deal with this…

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Event data
  • Sun. 12 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

In the digital era, the nerds have usurped what was once considered the privilege of philosophers and intellectuals. They are the actual interpreters of the world, the true innovators, even revolutionaries: gifted, extremely interested mavericks – and generally white and male. That at least is the prevailing image, embodied by such tech icons as Elon Musk, Julian Assange and Mark Zuckerberg. But what political assumptions and social processes does this new saviour archetype propagate? And can it be that the reign of the nerds is drawing to a close? The Leipzig-based cultural scholar A…

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Event data
  • Mon. 13 June 2022
  • 18:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Roter Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

What we should do and how we should act are among the most common questions that we confront in our day-to-day lives. But also among the most difficult. The range of possible actions available to us is huge. Our potential acts appear infinite in an ever more complex world. On the personal, social and political levels alike. Philosophical ethics examines the question of how we can align our actions according to rational principles and what norms we should adhere to. What can it do for us in our crisis-ridden present? How can it offer orientation and help us to make fundamental decisions in a…

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Event data
  • Mon. 13 June 2022
  • 19:00
  • Kulturkirche Köln
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

No other philosopher today is more formative, influential and productive as Peter Sloterdijk. In line with Nietzsche’ aphorism, “Philosophy is the good intention to do harm to stupidity,” he sees the philosopher’s role as the practice of contemporaneity. He just recently published a unique “philosophical theory of colour” under the title “Wer noch kein Grau gedacht hat”. Florian Schröder is a TV cabaret artist and comedian who also regularly comments on the ongoing debates of the day through his writings. Peter Sloterdijk’s work has always had a consistent leitmotif, essentially the “critique of cynical reason”. …

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Event data
  • Mon. 13 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • BALLONI Hallen
  • Accessibility

Everyone is a framer, capable of symbolic thinking. We concern ourselves not only with how the world is, but also how it could be. We can dream! When we encounter problems, we solve them by placing the new situation within a cognitive frame. Frames determine how we understand the world and act within it. They enable us to find our way in new situations. In crises, however, we need to be able to consciously change the frame. Individuals, and even entire societies, can fail because there is only one frame available to them. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is a professor at the Oxford Internet …

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Event data
  • Mon. 13 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • COMEDIA Theater, Grüner Saal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Das philosophische Radio live.


Die Coronakrise sei eine ungeheure Unterbrechung gewesen, sagt der Theologe und Philosoph Jean-Pierre Wils („Der Große Riss“). Ein Jahrhundertereignis. Wie unter einem Brennglas seien in dieser Zeit Bruchlinien deutlich geworden, die sich zunehmend tiefer durch unsere Gesellschaft zögen. „Das Virus hat den prekären Zustand unseres Zusammenlebens aufgezeigt.“ Und Corona war ja nur ein Vorgeschmack auf die viel umfassendere Erschütterung: der Klimawandel mit seinen Folgen. Können wir aus der einen Krise für die andere lernen? „Wir sollten die Pandemie als einen Offenbarungseid betrachten, der uns schonungslo…

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Event data
  • Mon. 13 June 2022
  • 20:00
  • WDR Funkhaus, Kleiner Sendesaal
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

Climate emergency, Ukraine war, pandemic – the world is in an uproar, and we ourselves as well. In the face of such meta-impositions, there are no easy recipes to fix things. But there is one thing we can do: nothing! Meditation is not a retreat from the world. Quite the contrary. By letting go, breathing deeply, simply being, we are brought back fully into the world, however disastrous it may appear. And just as tranquillity may be found in the eye of a hurricane, we can find peace right here. Paul J. Kohtes, Zen instructor and co-founder of the mediation app 7mind, talks about the p…

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Event data
  • Tue. 14 June 2022
  • 19:00
  • Kulturkirche Köln
  • Accessibility
    • Wheelchair-accessible Available

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