Prof. Arpad Szakolczai

My work focuses on social theory, historical sociology and political anthropology, and in particular on historically and anthropologically oriented social theory. Its focus is to reassess the links between Europe, modernity, and the processes of globalization, which he is analyzing using concepts developed by anthropologists and focusing on the long-term historical conditions and effects of religious developments, situated broadly within the approach of Max Weber, but going substantially beyond by incorporating the sociology of the Renaissance, and extending to the role of cultural processes like the re-birth of theatre (opposed strongly both by the medieval Church and Platonic philosophy) in the rise of the modern world.

I have a genuinely intercultural background, given that I lived and taught in a number of countries with quite different cultural traditions and political experiences. Born and educated in Hungary, thus deeply rooted in the Central European tradition, I experienced the Iron Curtain from the ‘other’ side, and gained a series of unforgettable experiences, in particular about the social effects of good-willing but misdirected ideas, that were quite different from those of most European and North-American social theorists. I then gained a PhD in US; lived and taught for long periods in Italy; since 1998 I'm teaching in Ireland; while also spent extended time in Germany, France, and the UK. I master a number of languages: Hungarian by mother tongue, I am teaching in English for more than three decades, but also taught in Italian, and am fluent in French. I also speak Russian, and read German and Spanish.