In Memory of Thomas Luckmann (1927-2016)

The University of Konstanz mourns for its longtime member, Prof. em. Dr. Thomas Luckmann, who died on May 10, 2016 at the age of 88 years. Thomas Luckmann (born on 14th October 1927 in today's Jesenice / Slovenia) studied philosophy, German literature, Romance languages ​​and literature, comparative linguistics and psychology at the universities of Vienna and Innsbruck, and since 1949 at the New School of Social Research in New York where he met the sociologist Alfred Schütz. After his PhD in sociology in 1956, he taught at the Faculty of Sociology at the New School from 1960-65. In 1965, he returned to Europe due to a call to the University of Frankfurt. In 1970, however, he moved to the still young University of Konstanz, where he worked as a professor for sociology until his retirement in 1994. He was, among other things, the driving force behind the founding of the Social Science Archive Konstanz.

Luckmann is one of the most important representatives of German-speaking post-war sociology, and has been one of the classics of sociological discipline throughout the world. Luckmann's most important of his numerous writings is,  published by Peter L. Berger (1966), "The Social Construction of Reality", futhermore the "Invisible Religion" (1967), which initiated a new formation of religious sociology , as well as the standard work of the phenomenologically founded sociology "Structures of the Living World" (1975/1984), begun by his teacher Alfred Schütz and completed by Luckmann. "The Social Construction of Reality" was translated into 13 languages  ​​and voted one of the ten most important books of sociology by the American Sociological Association.

The name Thomas Luckmann is directly connected with the sociology of Constance, which he decisively influenced by his 24 years of continuous research and teaching at the University of Konstanz. Luckmann founded the program of a humanistic, phenomenologically and anthropologically founded social science with an empirical orientation and a socio-theoretical claim. This program shaped the thinking of numerous sociologists. Interdisciplinary research at the University of Konstanz also benefited from Thomas Luckmann, among others. In a successful collaboration with literary scholars and philosophers in the special research area "Literature and Anthropology". With Thomas Luckmann, both the university and the department lose a humanly and professionally unique and outstanding colleague.

Jochen Dreher / Christian Meyer / Hans-Georg Soeffner