On the Relevance of the Humanities

"The humanities—including the study of languages, literature, history, jurisprudence, philosophy, comparative religion, ethics, and the arts—are disciplines of memory and imagination, telling us where we have been and helping us envision where we are going."

American Academy of Arts & Science

Since its foundation in 1683, Brill has at its core been a humanities publishing house. We are proud of this long tradition of serving the research communities in fields such as Ancient Christianity, History, International Law, Philosophy, Linguistics, International Relations, Biblical Studies, and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Our renewed mission statement is an expression of this commitment to provide scholars with the best infrastructure to disseminate and access high quality research.

With the challenges the world is facing today, the humanities and social sciences are needed and more relevant than ever to help us understand what it means to ‘lead a good life’.

The authors and editors with whom we work dedicate their academic life to asking critical questions on globalization, the rise and fall of societies, migration, the functioning of our democracies, the history of conflicts and international relations, inequality, water security or climate change, to name just a few. In this year’s article we let our authors and editors explain – from their personal perspectives – why it is crucial for society to continue investing in research in the humanities and social sciences. They give us a glance into their field of research, individual work, methodologies and motivation, and they demonstrate why the humanities have been and will remain a vital pillar of academia and society.