peter berger

by newschoolphilosophy

The eminent sociologist and theologian passed away last Tuesday, June 27, 2017. Born in 1929 in Vienna, he emigrated to the US after the war, completing his undergraduate studies at Wagner College. He studied at the New School for Social Research in the 1950s, where he was deeply influenced by Alfred Schütz.

Berger came to prominence with a major sociological work, The Social Construction of Reality (1966), co-authored with Thomas Luckmann, also a student of Schütz at the New School, who passed away last year. Berger also studied the connection between modernity and secularism, where an early and influential work was A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural (1969). He founded the  Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA) at Boston University in 1985, serving as its director for 24 years.

Professor Berger’s death was announced by CURA. Obituaries have appeared in the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Public Seminar has released the video of “Peter Berger’s Last Visit to the New School for Social Research.”