Part I. Faith, Death, and Freedom -

6 September 2009
9.15 – 17.30
Het Muziektheater Amsterdam

Man after the End of History

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.


Published in

Journal Nexus

Nexus 54

De passie voor geloof, dood en vrijheid

De passie voor geloof, dood en vrijheid

Dutch publication with contributions of the speakers at the Nexus Conference in 2009 about issues such as religious fanaticism and democratic tolerance.


United Kingdom, 1948 - 2020

Jonathan Sacks

Chief Rabbi

United States, 1964

Anne Applebaum

historian and author Gulag: A History

Lebanon, 1957

Pierre Audi

former director of the Dutch Opera

United Kingdom, 1948

John Gray

political philosopher and skeptic

Uruquay, 1958

Moshe Halbertal

professor of Jewish thought

The Netherlands, 1950

Ernst Hirsch Ballin

law professor and Christian democrat

Poland, 1945

Eva Hoffman

writer and professor of creative writing

Russia, 1964

Nina Khrushcheva

Nabokov expert; descendant of Soviet leader

United States, 1953

Yossi Klein Halevi

former Jewish extremist

India, 1967

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

political theorist and commentator

United Kingdom, 1967

David Modell

maker of documentary films on social issues

Switzerland, 1962

Tariq Ramadan

Muslim thinker and scholar

United States, 1927 - 2012

Charles Rosen

pianist, writer and scholar

United States

Marc Sageman

expert on terrorism

Canada, 1947

John Ralston Saul

writer and President of PEN International

Iraq, 1972

Karim Wasfi

director of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra
Nexus_Nietzsche V Gogh-0154

USA, 1952

Leon Wieseltier

Jewish-American public intellectual and editor of Liberties

United States, 1946 - 2011

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

psychoanalyst, biographer of Hannah Arendt

Slovenia, 1949

Slavoj Žižek

polemical philosopher, sociologist and cultural critic