Center for Religion and Modernity, Opening Conference, May 2012
Center for Religion and Modernity, Opening Conference, May 2012

The Center for Religion and Modernity (CRM) is an interdisciplinary research cluster at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) which focuses on investigating the changing role of religions, churches, religious communities, and religious actors in modern societies. Key aspects of the analysis are the conditions, consequences, and patterns of religious change in modern societies, the relationship between religion and politics, problems resulting from the increasing religious pluralism, and the legal regulation of members of different denominations living together. Apart from the scholarly analysis of the above mentioned aspects, the Center for Religion and Modernity aims at fostering dialogue with the public.

The Center for Religion and Modernity originated in 2012 from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics in Pre-Modern and Modern Cultures” at the University of Münster. This research cluster, consisting of about 200 scholars of 20 disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, was founded in 2007 and will be funded by the federal German government and German states’ governments until 2017.

The CRM wants to continue to intensify interdisciplinary research  [de] on the relationship between religion and modernity initiated by the Cluster at the University of Münster and to perpetuate the subject of Religion and Modernity as a long-term focus in research and teaching at the WWU. In this context, new alliances with other universities and research institutions both at home and abroad are envisaged.

The CRM wishes to attract third-party funding in the medium term for the purpose of project research (single projects, research groups, post graduate programs, etc.). The establishment of a Master’s program “Religion and Modernity” is under consideration (potentially in cooperation with other universities in the region). In addition, public events  [de] (conferences, lecture series, talks) will be organized, the results of which are to be published  [de].

The approximately 30 members  [de] of the CRM belong to different departments and disciplines. The CRM includes faculty representatives from Political Science, Sociology, History, Law, Catholic, Protestant and Islamic Theology, Relious Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Communication Studies, and the Philologies. 

The CRM’s board of directors  [de] is made up of the Catholic theologian Prof. Dr. Judith Könemann (spokesperson), the historian Prof. Dr. Thomas Großbölting, Professor of Jewish Studies Regina Grundmann, the sociologist Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack, and the political scientist Prof. Dr. Ulrich Willems. The board of directors coordinates the CRM’s work. It is supported by the scientific management  [de].