Another Five Years for the Cluster of Excellence

Renewal proposal of “Religion and Politics” approved

News-dfg-entscheidung

Raising glasses to the double success: Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Ursula Nelles and Prof. Dr. Lydia Sorokin (from left to right)

© WWU/Tronquet

The joint commission of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), the German Council of Science and Humanities and the Federal and State Ministers of Science approved the renewal proposal of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” in Bonn today. Prof. Dr. Ursula Nelles, Vice Chancellor of Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU), and historian Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence, were delighted that funding was to be extended until 2017. The Vice Chancellor described the positive review as “a very good result and, first and foremost, a great success for our scholars whose ideas and concepts have been distinguished through this extra funding.”

The Cluster’s Speaker, historian Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, stated: “We regard the decision of the German Research Foundation and the German Council of Science and Humanities as recognition of our successful interdisciplinary collaboration. The cooperation of some 200 researchers from 20 different fields is reflected in an abundance of research results examining the tension between religion and politics from antiquity until today. For instance, we were able to gain new insights into the relationship between religion and violence, on the issue of integrating religious plurality, on cultural ambiguity, and on controversial theories of secularisation. We understand the positive decision for five-years of funding in the second phase as an encouragement to continue on our path and to supplement our work with new key subjects such as the relationship between religion and history, religion and economy, and transcultural interrelations. At the same time, we will continue to promote young researchers in our graduate school and to maintain an intense dialogue with the public through various forms of research communication. We are pleased to be in a position to continue with our exploration of highly relevant socio-political issues.”

At the press conference Vice Chancellor Nelles also noted that the WWU Münster had achieved a double success in the Excellence Initiative: the joint commission also approved the new proposal of the Cluster of Excellence “Cells in Motion” (CIM). “To have Clusters of Excellence both in the humanities and in the medical/natural sciences demonstrates that the WWU conducts top-level research throughout the university.” In the Cluster of Excellence “Cells in Motion”, scientists will engage in imaging and understanding cellular behaviour in living organisms. The WWU’s proposal for funding of the graduate school “Evolution”, was, however, not approved by the reviewers.