Man after the End of History

Part I. Faith, Death, and Freedom

A generation ago, in the summer of 1989, Francis Fukuyama published his lecture ‘The End of History?’ Its title came to symbolise the triumph of liberalism and free, Western democracy. Yet the conclusion of Fukuyama’s lecture was surprisingly downbeat: ‘The end of history will be a very sad time.’ His were ominous words. For over the past decade, only those who forgot that man has a soul can have been surprised at the rise of religion, nationalism, fanaticism, and aggression. The Nexus Institute initiated this conference in an attempt to understand and fathom the tragic secrets and dark desires of the human soul. And since all major art is nothing but a mirror of the soul, it alone can help us understand that which is so difficult to grasp: the human being. The opera La Juive by Fromental Halévy served as an example and a starting point.