Thomas Luckmann (October 14, 1927 – May 10, 2016) was an American-Austrian sociologist of Slovene origin who taught mainly in Germany. His contributions were central to studies in sociology of communication, sociology of knowledge, sociology of religion, and the philosophy of science.
- The past few years were filled with indicators that the sociology of language is beginning to become established not only as a field of study and investigation, but also as an academic area of studies.
- Thomas Luckmann. The sociology of language, Bobbs-Merrill, 1975. p. 56
The Social Construction of Reality, 1966
The invisible religion, 1967
Thomas Luckmann, The invisible religion: The problem of religion in modern society. Macmillan, 1967.
- The shrinking of church religion, however, is only one – and the sociologically less interesting – dimension of the problem of secularization. For the analysis of contemporary society another question is more important. What are the dominant values overarching contemporary culture? What is the socio-structural basis of these values and what is their function in the live of contemporary man?
- p. 40
- The organism—in isolation nothing but a separate pole of "meaningless" subjective processes—becomes a Self by embarking with others upon the construction of an "objective" and moral universe of meaning. Thereby the organization transcends its biological nature.
- It is in keeping with an elementary sense of the concept of religion to call the transcendence of biological nature by the human organism a religious phenomenon. As we have tried to show, this phenomenon rests upon the functional relation of Self and society. We may, therefore, regard the social processes that lead to the formation of Self as fundamentally religious.
- p. 48
- It may be said, in sum, that the modern sacred cosmos symbolizes the socio-cultural phenomenon of individualism and that it bestows in various articulations, "ultimate" significance upon the structurally determined phenomenon of the "private sphere." We tried to show that the structure of the modern sacred cosmos and its thematic content represent the emergence of a new social form of religion which, in turn, is determined by a radical transformation in the relation of the individual to the social order.
- p. 114
Quotes about Thomas Luckmann
- Thomas Luckmann became one of the leading figures in what became to be called the “new” sociology of knowledge. His “Social Construction of Reality”, co-authored with Peter Berger in 1966, influenced many social scientific disciplines, the humanities and various academic movements, such as “social constructionism”, “social constructivism” or the “new institutionalism”. The “Invisible Religion”, published in 1967, became immediately a classic text in the Sociology of Religion. It formulated one of the most inclusive theories of religion as being based in human’s capacity to transcend the biological organism. After his “Structures of the Life-World”, co-authored with Alfred Schutz, he added a differentiated concept of transcendences which was included in the later versions of the “Invisible Religion”.