Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

Oh Linger On, Thou Art So Fair!

What is Happiness? ZEIT Forum Kultur


Goethe’s Faust, man searching eternally for happiness and fulfilment, experiences the »most exalted moment« when he recognizes that he can create a work for his fellow men and for his environment.

Where can modern mankind find happiness? This is the question this year’s symposium pursues in addressing happiness research. Prompted by the nation of Bhutan’s efforts to set up an index of gross national happiness alongside the Western measure of gross domestic product, we wish to look at what makes people – all people – happy. Does the Western lifestyle have a future? Is the accumulation of prosperity the highest form of happiness? Or its reduction?

And: is it possible to enshrine the pursuit of happiness for a whole community – not simply for the individual – in the constitution? Where does the boundary to totalitarianism lie?

Experts from the realms of science, politics and religion come together to discuss research into happiness and theories of the ›good life‹ and to evaluate the possibilities and limits. Chaired by the publisher of DIE ZEIT, Josef Joffe.