Prof. em. Dr. Thomas Luckmann

In Memory of Thomas Luckmann (1927-2016)

We commemorate Thomas Luckmann who passed away on May 10, 2016 at the age of 88. Thomas Luckmann (born at the 14th of October, 1927 in Jesenice/Slowenia) studied Philosophy, German Literature, Romance Philology and Psychology at the Universities of Vienna and Innsbruck and the New School for Social Research, where he studied with Alfred Schutz. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology in the year of 1956, and from 1960-65 he taught at the New School. When in 1965 he was offered a professorship at the University of Frankfurt, he returned to Europe. In 1970 he transferred to the University of Konstanz where he worked as a professor in Sociology until his retirement in 1994.

Thomas Luckmann is one of the most significant representatives of German after-war Sociology and already during his lifetime has been considered one of classical thinkers of the sociological discipline. His major publications are The Social Construction of Reality (1966) together with Peter L. Berger, establishing a new sociology of knowledge; The Invisible Religion (1967), which refounded the sociology of religion, and the standard work The Structures of the Life-World (1975/1984), initiated by his teacher Alfred Schutz and completed by Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality is one of the most influential publications of the sociological discipline; the American Sociological Association considers it to be one of the ten most important books in Sociology and it was translated into thirteen different languages.

With the death of Thomas Luckmann, we lose an outstanding and exceptional thinker of the human sciences and one of its finest persons.

Jochen Dreher