Field of Research A: Normativity

Comparing pre-modern and modern cultures, the Field of Research A examines concepts of normativity as well as the normative foundations of these concepts, and the underlying ideas of validity and legitimacy. Research will be aimed at, on the one hand, the genesis and structure of modern normativity. Here, research will particularly focus on the emergence of, but also on changes in or even the retreat from modern principles of secular statehood. On the other hand, a comparative analysis will be directed at questions of how norms regulating social orders and religious communities have differed at various times with respect to their intellectual – religious or secular – grounds of validity, their scope, their enforceability by different religious and secular institutions, their ambiguity or clarity, and the media in which they were expressed.

In the Cluster of Excellence’s second funding period from 2012 to 2017, interdisciplinary work will particularly concentrate on three central overarching questions that have developed during the first funding period (2007-2012). The Questions will be researched in coordinated project groups:

The first coordinated project group deals with the ways in which normative discourses within and among the fields of politics and religion as well as law may become more “liquid” or more “fixed”. The second addresses the historically variable relationship between the making of norms on the one hand and their implementation and factual enforcement on the other. Here, the reciprocal demarcation of the fields of religion and politics will be of particular importance. The third responds to the desire to broaden our perspective to include the field of economics.