»Religious Dynamics in History and the Present«
From a discussion group to a Cluster of Excellence Initiative at Goethe University
The discussions have come to focus on the ambivalence of religions, which on the one hand make an essential contribution to the collective cohesion of communities and on the other have been and are a source of highly explosive conflicts in history and the present. With regard to the three monotheistic religions that are closely intertwined both historically and theologically, the question arises as to how the dynamics of their coexistence and confrontations are to be understood. This requires detailed interdisciplinary studies of different historical periods, geographical areas and religious contexts, the examination of religious scriptures, their translations and interpretations, and research into the causes of conflicts as well as the frameworks for interreligious understanding.
The spokespersons of the Initiative are Birgit Emich, professor of early modern history at Goethe University, and Christian Wiese, Martin Buber Professor for Jewish Philosophy of Religion at Goethe University and member of the board of directors at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften. Both scholars are nationally and internationally renowned in their fields, and have already acquired major third-party funding. Emich heads the DFG research group »Polycentricity and Plurality of Pre-Modern Christianities« (2021–2024 ), and Christian Wiese was the chair of the LOEWE research group »Religious Positioning. Modalities and Constellations in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Contexts« (2017–2021).
The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften is a collaborative partner of the Cluster Initiative and will continue to actively support the project, in particular by inviting guest researchers who will contribute their expertise to the project and by planning and holding academic conferences and public lectures in Bad Homburg. The director of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, co-initiator of the initial discussion group and member of the so-called »Steering Committee« of the Cluster Initiative, is very pleased that the initial discussions at the Forschungskolleg have »caught on« and have developed into a compelling research project with a long-term perspective because, he believes, the critical examination of the significance of religion in our society is more important than ever.
(FKH - 21.03.2022)
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