Christian W. Hallstein
Emeritus Teaching Professor of German
Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Education: Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1978. M.A., Pennsylvania State University, 1974. B.A., Geneva College, 1972.
Since 2008 my research has focused almost exclusively on the 18th-century German polymath and court preacher in classical Weimar, Johann Gottfried Herder, who has made seminal contributions to a wide range of disciplines, such as anthropology, cultural history, geography, language and literature, aesthetics, theology, and education.
I was inspired to pursue research on Herder in March of 2005 while visiting Weimar with students from Carnegie Mellon as part of a course I was teaching on German classicism. As I stood in the Stadtkirche and contemplated the pulpit from which Herder preached, I was struck for the first time by the apparent anomaly of an author with such a voluminous output (32 volumes in the standard edition) also having a fulltime day job as a preacher and ecclesiastical superintendent in the Duchy of Weimar, a position which included oversight of the schools. I asked myself, “Is there any thematic connection between what Herder said from his pulpit and what he was known for as an author and thinker? Are there any resonances between Herder the preacher and Herder the writer/critic, or did he lead a kind of double life intellectually?
As of fall 2016 I have written and presented five papers on Herder, all of which have been or will soon be published:
"Johann Gottfried Herder and the Idea of European Unity"
"Of Publishing and Preaching: The ‘Double Life’ of Johann Gottfried Herder"
"Herders Homiletik: Theorie und Praxis"
"The Human Mind, Heart and Soul in the Homiletics of Johann Gottfried Herder"
"Beredsamkeit und Musik als 'Künste der Menschheit' bei Herder"
- “The Human Mind, Heart and Soul in the Homiletics of Johann Gottfried Herder.” 2014 Conference Proceedings of the International Herder Society. Heidelberg: Synchron Publishers (2016).
- “Of Publishing and Preaching: The ‘Double Life’ of Johann Gottfried Herder.” 2014 2010 Conference Proceedings of the International Herder Society. Heidelberg: Synchron Publishers (2016).
- “Johann Gottfried Herder and the Idea of European Unity.” Pennsylvania Language Forum, Vol. 84, no. 1 (Fall 2014).
- “Herders Homiletik: Theorie und Praxis.” Herders Rhetoriken im Kontext des 18. Jahrhunderts. Ed. Ralf Simon. Heidelberg: Synchron Publishers, 2014.
- "Creating the Enemy: Anti-British Nazi Film Propaganda." West Virginia University Philological Papers, Vol. 51, (2006).