Gorres Society

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The Görres Society for the Care of Science is one of the oldest German scientific societies . The task of the society is to “maintain its founding mandate, which is rooted in the Catholic faith, to stimulate and promote scientific life in the various specialist areas and to offer the opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange”.


The Görres Society was founded on January 25, 1876 by Catholic scholars and journalists in Koblenz under the name Görres Society for the Care of Catholic Sciences . Co-founder and main initiator was the later Bavarian Prime Minister and German Chancellor Georg von Hertling , who also became the first President of the Görres Society.

The Görres Society is named after the university professor and publicist Joseph Görres . The theological faculty of the Archdiocese of Salzburg , the German-speaking Benedictine Confederation , the Catholic Academic Association and the Görres Society held the Salzburg University Weeks (SHW) for the first time from August 3 to 22, 1931 ; also known as universitas catholica in nuce . Then there was a falling out with the Görres society . At this point in time it was being run authoritatively by Heinrich Finke . His predecessor from 1919 / 1920-1924 was Hermann von Grauert .

In 1941 it was dissolved by the National Socialists and re-established in Cologne in 1948 .


The society is organized as a privately owned association, it is administered by an honorary board of directors. Membership is free and not tied to any particular status. The Görresgesellschaft is now divided into 20 sections (e.g. for law and political science , history , the Christian Orient , pedagogy and philosophy ), which meet at annual general assemblies and also provide information on the status of current research.

As the successor to Paul Mikat and Wolfgang Bergsdorf , Bernd Engler has been President since 2015 . The company is based in Bonn . Since it was founded, some Görres Institutes have been set up abroad (the Roman Institute of the Görres Society at Campo Santo Teutonico / Rome 1887, Jerusalem 1908, Madrid 1926, Lisbon 1962). It has around 2,800 members (as of 2017). In 1925, the number of members had peaked at 4,600.

The main area of ​​work of the Görres Society is the philosophical examination of today's research results based on Christian ethics and the Christian conception of man. To this end, the Görres Society promotes young scientists, is dedicated to maintaining academic life in Germany, and also participates in larger research projects.

The Görres Society is the publisher of numerous publications , including the quarterly journal for scientific pedagogy , the Philosophical Yearbook , the Historical Yearbook and the Yearbook for European Ethnology .

The oldest institute of the Görres Society is the Roman Institute of the Görres Society, which was initially founded in 1888 as a "station" (also the Historical Institute of the Görres Society). It is also the oldest institute abroad and has had its seat at the priestly college of the Campo Santo Teutonico (Vatican) since the beginning . Its task is basic research in the field of church history and Christian archeology. Together with the priests' college it publishes the Roman quarterly for Christian antiquity and church history. The director of the institute is Stefan Heid .

The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research of the Görres Society (fr .: Institut International de Synthèse de la Société Görres ) is a scientific institution of the Görres Society. Its task is to conduct interdisciplinary research and to bring together the various sciences, especially theology, philosophy and the natural sciences. The institute was founded on May 12, 1957. The board consists of a director and four deputy directors. Ulrich Lüke is currently director of the institute, deputy directors are Stephan Borrmann , Christoph Horn and Gregor Maria Hoff . According to Josef Kälin's speech at the founding event, the Görres Institute should have 20 to 40 members, at least half of whom should be German-speaking. In 2013 the institute had 20 active members, 16 emeritus members, as well as three permanent guests and two young guests. The institute holds a workshop on a general topic every year. When the institute was founded in 1967, a publication organ was also set up. The Natural Science and Theology series published the results of the annual workshops. After twelve issues, the 1972 series was replaced by the Grenzfragen series.

There is also the Jerusalem Institute of the Görres Society , whose director has been the Benedictine Father Nicodemus Schnabel since 2011 . Its establishment was prepared by Konrad Lübeck from 1909 to 1910 .

Ring of Honor of the Görres Society

Since 1977, the Görres Society's Ring of Honor has been awarded annually to “distinguished personalities in academic and public life”. The first sponsor was the historian Clemens Bauer .


  • Georg von Hertling (1843–1919), politician and philosopher, founding president of the Görres Society from 1877 to 1919
  • Hermann von Grauert (1850–1924), historian, president of the Görres Society from 1920 to 1924
  • Heinrich Finke (1855–1938), church historian and medievalist, President of the Görres Society from 1924 to 1938
  • Hans Peters (1896–1966), legal scholar, President of the Görres Society from 1940/41 and 1948 to 1966
  • Paul Mikat (1924–2011), legal scholar and politician, President of the Görres Society from 1967 to 2007
  • Wolfgang Bergsdorf (* 1941), political scientist, President of the Görres Society from 2007 to 2015
  • Bernd Engler (* 1954), Americanist, President of the Görres Society since 2015

Research fellows


Web links

Wikisource: State Lexicon  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. Articles of Association of the Görres Society (PDF; 158 kB), viewed on March 18, 2010
  2. Annual and conference report of the Görres Society 2017 , p. 80.
  3. ^ Görres Society: Origin and History , accessed on October 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Günther Rager: History and goals of the institute of the Görres Society for Interdisciplinary Research . Lecture on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the institute on Sept. 22, 2006 in Suresnes Castle, Munich, 2.
  5. Michael Mott : Fuldaer Köpfe , Vol. 2. Verlag Parzeller, Fulda 2011, ISBN 978-3-7900-0442-7 , pp. 277-280 (first published in the Fuldaer Zeitung on April 6, 2010, p. 13).