News Archive 2017

“God Beyond Boundaries”

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© Waxmann

“God Beyond Boundaries”, written by the Religious Studies Scholar and Theologian Perry Schmidt-Leukel of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, deals with the essential features and benefits of a pluralist approach in the theology of religions.

“European Muslims perceive the EU more positively than other Europeans”

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© Benedikt Weischer

According to a study of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, Muslims in Europe have a more positive view of the European Union (EU) compared to all other groups of the European population. “On average, Muslims have a higher level of trust in EU institutions than members of other religious or non-religious groups such as Christians and those unaffiliated with any religion,” says political scientist Prof. Dr. Bernd Schlipphak.

New Video: Interreligious Theology

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In a new episode of the video series, “Research Projects in Focus” scholar of Religious Studies Prof. Schmidt-Leukel gives insight into his research project “Interreligious Theology” at the Cluster of Excellence. The scholar examines what the world religions think of each other and how they explain that there are more religious traditions other than their own. Never before has mankind been more aware of how many religions there are than today. This harbours a great potential for conflicts, says the scholar. If the religions manage, however, to come closer together, this has great potential for peace.

“Contemporary History of Religions“

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In the first episode of the new video series “Research Projects in Focus“ contemporary historian Prof. Dr. Thomas Großbölting gives insight into his research project “Contemporary History of Religions” at the Cluster of Excellence. The scholar analyses how religion has stirred people in recent German history and looks at the decades since the Second World War in particular.

When People Hear Voices from Beyond

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© Ergon-Verlag

Not just material for fantasy films: according to research findings, people have been concerned with “voices from the beyond” since antiquity until today in various works of art as well as life contexts. In a novel research project, researchers from various subjects at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” analysed the medium of the “voice” in Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and other religions.

“The Construction of Time in Antiquity”

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© Cambridge University Press

Time has always held a fascination for human beings, who have attempted to relate to it and to make sense of it, constructing and deconstructing it through its various prisms, since time cannot be experienced in an unmediated way.

The Monograph “Culture of Ambiguity” in Arabic

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© Al-Kamel Verlag

The widely acclaimed monograph “The Culture of Ambiguity” by the Arabist and Leibniz prize winner Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer of the Excellence Cluster “Religion and Politics” of the University of Münster has been recently translated into Arabic.

Interreligious Theology internationally discussed

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The new theories of religious diversity of the scholar of religious studies Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” attract interest from researchers in China. The Minzu University of China in Beijing has invited the scholar to present his fractal interpretation of religious diversity and to discuss it together with Chinese scholars.

Chinese Translation of „Transformation by Integration“

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© Religious Culture Publishing House

The monograph “Transformation by Integration” by the scholar of religious studies and theologian Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has been published in Chinese translation by the Religious Culture Publishing House, Beijing.

Burqa Bans in European Democracies

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© CRM

Political scientist Dr. Ulrike Spohn spoke on burqa bans and their rationales. In a working paper published on the website of WWU’s Centre for Religion and Modernity (Centrum für Religion und Moderne, CRM), she discusses the problematic nature of legal burqa bans in the context of European democracies.

Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” makes it to the next stage

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The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has invited the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” to submit a full proposal for a new funding period starting in 2019. The speaker of the Cluster of Excellence, sociologist of religion Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack, stated: “We are pleased that we may elaborate the new research programme that we have developed in our draft proposal under the title ‘Religion and Politics. Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation’.”

Dialogues on Peace 2017

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© Presseamt Münster

The city of Münster has now presented the programme of this year's “Dialogues on Peace” (Dialoge zum Frieden).
In the Reformation Year 2017, the series draws on the historical episode of the Anabaptists and deals with the causes of religiously motivated violence. Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the Cluster of Excellence Prof. Dr. Thomas Hauschild will discuss the subject “Identity. Fundamentalism. Violence – the radicalisation of religious movements” on 5 October.

“Religious politics neglected”

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© Julia Holtkötter

In the radio programme “Tag für Tag” (Day by Day) of Deutschlandfunk, scholar of religious studies Prof. Dr. Ulrich Willems talked about the relevance of religious political topics in the Bundestag elections campaigns. The scholar from the Cluster of Excellence argued that in recent years, the parties markedly neglected religious political issues.

Religious Transformation in Late Antiquity

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© Museo Civico di Storia e Arte, Modena

The expropriation and destruction of synagogues in late antiquity are in the focus of an international workshop of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” from 14 to 17 September, organized by historian Prof. Dr. Johannes Hahn.

New psychological research

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© privat

The field of psychology will broaden social science research at the Cluster “Religion and Politics” of the WWU. Two new research projects of psychologist Prof. Dr. Mitja Back of the WWU examine the influences of religion on the attitude towards foreigners and refugees.

Fellowship for byzantinist Michael Grünbart

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© Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik

In the summer semester of 2017, byzantinist Prof. Dr. Michael Grünbart of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the WWU has conducted research as a fellow at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe” (IKGF) at the University Erlangen

„Visual and Material in Jewish Culture“

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© Hebrew astrolabe, Adler Planetarium (Chicago), Josefina Rodriguez Arribas, WWU

The significance of images in Jewish culture in medieval and early modern times is the subject of an international workshop of the Institute for Jewish Studies and the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of Münster University.

“This trialogue is a novelty”

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© Chester Beatty Library

Researchers from all over the world will come together in Münster next week for the first theological trialogue ever between Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. At the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the Münster University, they will compare the central beliefs of the three world religions and discuss their significance for society, as announced by Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel of the Cluster of Excellence, scholar of religious studies and Anglican theology.

“Buddhism is not a pop religion”

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The scholar of religious studies and Anglican theologian Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel of the Cluster of Excellence presents a comprehensive introduction to the history and the present of Buddhism. Therein, he refutes numerous Western clichés about Buddhism and rectifies the image of a religion as a “as a psychology of wisdom”.

“Disenchantment” of the Bible and the Koran

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At the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, church historian Prof. Dr. Thomas Kaufmann and scholar of Arabic Studies Prof. Dr. Angelika Neuwirth discussed how Christians and Muslims deal with the Bible and the Koran. Following an invitation from the German Academy for Language and Literature (Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung) and the Cluster of Excellence, they talked in Münster about the significance, interpretation and translation of these texts and about the different opinions that existed and exist thereof in the religions in the past and the present.

Progress in Moral Philosophy

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© Suhrkamp Verlag

The new publication, co-edited by philosopher Dr. Matthias Hoesch of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, contains translations of essential texts by the philosopher Derek Parfit (1942-2017).

Sigmund Freud Prize for Biography on Maria Theresa

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© Richard Rilinger

Historian Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” receives the Sigmund Freud Prize for Academic Prose (Sigmund-Freud-Preis für wissenschaftliche Prosa) 2017 from the German Academy for Language and Literature (Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung).

Scholars of Religious Studies Establish “European Academy of Religion”

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© Bruno Biermann

Some 1,000 scholars of religious studies from Europe and the neighbouring countries will get together in Bologna, Italy on Sunday for the first conference of the newly-founded European Academy of Religion (EuARe). The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, which was involved in the foundation, will present research findings on the increase in religious pluralism in Europe at the interdisciplinary conference which will be held from 18 to 22 June.

Religion in Post-war Literature

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© Verlag De Gruyter

The habitation thesis of literary scholar Dr. Christian Sieg from WWU’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” addresses the function of religion in the staging of political authorship. The monograph “Die ‘engagierte Literatur’ und die Religion. Politische Autorschaft im literarischen Feld zwischen 1945 und 1990” (‘Committed literature’ and religion. Political authorship in the field of literature between 1945 and 1990), as it is titled, was recently published by De Gruyter.

Can people live without religion?

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© Franziska Richter

Whether the existence of religions is inevitable, is a question asked by the new “Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor” Prof. Dr. Thomas Hauschild in a public lecture series at the University of Münster's Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”. In the lectures starting on Monday, June 26, the renowned social and cultural anthropologist will examine whether human collectives can ultimately live without religion.

„Prayer and Power“

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© Ugarit Verlag

The God’s wives of Amun in the 1st mill. BC are in the focus of a recent publication, edited by Egyptologists Meike Becker, Anke Ilona Blöbaum and Angelika Lohwasser, members of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Buddhist-Christian Relations in Asia

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© EOS Editions

The relations between Buddhists and Christians in Asian countries shaped by Buddhism are at the center of a new publication edited by Professor Perry Schmidt-Leukel, a religious studies scholar and Anglican theologian working in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”. The volume has just been published by EOS Editions as “Buddhist-Christian Relations in Asia”.

“God Bless America“

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© Campus Verlag

An omnibus volume regarding civil religion in 20th century USA has been issued by the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” and the Centre for Religion and Modernity (CRM), as edited by historians Prof. Dr. Heike Bungert and Dr. Jana Weiß.

Homosexuality in the Indian Jurisprudence

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© Ugarit Verlag

The adjustment of Indian law with regards to questions of homosexuality to international human rights standards is the focus of a monograph by legal scholar Dr. Yeshwant Naik of the WWU. The jurist illustrates how the modernisation dynamic causes a “crisis of tradition” in Indian law.

“Those unaffiliated with any religion often are not strictly atheistic”

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Most of those unaffiliated with religion in Europe, the “nones”, are not strictly atheistic according to the British sociologist of religion Prof. Dr. Linda Woodhead. “The group of those who do not belong to an organised religion is growing in many European countries,” says the Hans Blumenberg visiting professor at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the University of Münster.

111 Books on Religion and Politics

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© exc

The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the WWU presents “111 Books on Religion and Politics. A Selection”, a new brochure in English providing an overview of selected research findings from 2009 until 2017.

“The Inevitability of Religion”

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© Franziska Richter

The renowned German social and cultural anthropologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Hauschild will assume the “Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professorship” at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” in the summer semester 2017. In a public lecture series in Münster, the scholar, a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, will focus on the “inevitability of religion”.

No Religion as a “New Religion”?

Prof. Linda WoodheadProf. Linda Woodhead
© Christine Baker-Parrish

The current Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the University of Münster, Prof. Dr. Linda Woodhead researches the growing number of non-religious people worldwide, the “nones”. During her visiting professorship in the summer semester, the British sociologist of religion will analyse the group of those people who are not members of an organised religion – but are not all secular or atheists either.

“Causation and Responsibility: Fact or Ascription?”

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© Simon Kraus – Adobe Stock | Stefan Klatt

A public lecture and a masterclass with renowned legal scholars Richard Wright and Ingeborg Puppe deal with the relationship between causation and responsibility in jurisprudence. The public lecture by Wright on the Economic Analysis of Law will take place on 27 April 2017 in the Conference Room at the Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of the University of Münster. The masterclass will take place on 28 April 2017 at the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics.

“Music was a rather controversial issue in world religions”

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© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK, Abteilung Historische Drucke, Signatur: Libri impr. rari qu. 189 (a)

Music has played a central role in world religions from antiquity up to the present: It served prayers, the community and the reflection on faith. “Above all, music could emotionalise – religious groups or scholars sometimes feared and fought this”, says Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer, a specialist in Islamic studies, of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”. He announced a lecture series “Music and Religion” including lectures and concerts, one of them with the baritone Benjamin Appl.

‘Nones’ in selected countries – a comparison

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© wikipedia, Vilallonga

The workshop at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” addresses the growth of the so-called “nones”, people who are unaffiliated with any religion. The  Hans Blumenberg Visting Professor Linda Woodhead explores together with international researchers the socio-structural profile of the “nones” and their religious attitudes. The Blumenberg-Workshop will take place in Münster on 4 and 5 May.

Jewish Synagogues in the First Century

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© Verlag Brill

In Synagogues in the Works of Flavius Josephus, the protestant theologian Dr. Andrew R. Krause from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” analyses the place of the synagogue within the cultural and spatial rhetoric of Flavius Josephus. The book “Synagogues in the Works of Flavius Josephus. Rhetoric, Spatiality, and First-Century Jewish Institutions” is published by Brill, Leiden.

“Is ‘No Religion’ the New Religion?”

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© Christine Baker-Parrish

The internationally renowned sociologist of religion Prof. Dr. Linda Woodhead from Lancaster University will assume the “Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professorship” at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” in the summer semester 2017. During her stay, the British academic will focus on the worldwide growing number of so-called “nones”, people who are unaffiliated with any religion. In a public lecture on 8 May she will discuss the question “Is ‘No Religion’ the New Religion?”.

“Maria Theresa was a relentlessly strict matriarch”

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© C. H. Beck

On the occasion of the 300th birthday of Empress Maria Theresa (1717-1780), many clichés about one of the most powerful women in history need to be abandoned according to the latest research. “Maria Theresa embodies a myth that was to remind Austria of lost greatness for a long time, but this spell must be broken today”, says historian Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of Münster University. The book is nominated for the “Non-Fiction” Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair.

Gifford Lectures published

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© Orbis Books

The Gifford Lectures of Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel have now been published in an extended edition by Orbis Books, Mariknoll, New York as “Religious Pluralism and Interreligious Theology.” Schmidt-Leukel, an Anglican theologian, is Professor of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology and a member of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Muenster.

“Buddhist and Christian Attitudes to Religious Diversity”

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© Ling’s Family Publications

The attitudes of Christians and Theravāda Buddhists toward religious diversity are at the center of a new publication jointly edited by Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel, Professor of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology, and Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Großhans, Professor of Systematic Theology, from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, together with Dr. Samuel Ngun Ling, Principal of the “Myanmar Institute of Theology” in Yangon, Myanmar.

“Losing Heaven”

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© Berghahn Books

The first synopsis of faith in Germany since 1945, undertaken by contemporary historian Prof. Dr. Thomas Großbölting from Münster University’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, was published in English by Berghahn Books under the title of “Losing Heaven”.

New Series “Music and Religion”

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© Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK, Abteilung Historische Drucke, Signatur: Libri impr. rari qu. 189 (a)

In the summer semester 2017, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” presents the public lecture series “Music and Religion” with lectures and concerts. The new series ranges from music in Judaism, Islam and Hinduism to Christian church music, the piano song of the 19th century and contemporary pop music.

New Blumenberg Lectures Book Series

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© Herder-Verlag

The first volume of the new book series “Blumenberg-Vorlesungen” (Blumenberg lectures) of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has now been published by Herder Verlag. The historian and first Hans Blumenberg Visiting professor, Prof. Dr. Lucian Hölscher writes about Protestant piety in Germany between the Reformation and the secular society in the volume.

How Liturgy Shaped Historiography

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© Kate Griffin

Early Medieval Historian of Rus and Byzantium Dr. Sean Griffin, from the University of California in Los Angeles, does research on Byzantine liturgy at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”. During his stay in Münster, the visiting concentrates on studying the role of liturgy in the development of the oldest extant East Slavic chronicle: the Primary Chronicle from the 12th century.

“Revising the image of Islamic law”

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With the study of “maxims” in Islamic law, a genre of legal formulas that has so far barely received any attention, scholars are shedding new light on Islamic legal history. “However, our studies of these concise textual formulas show a surprising innovation in history: from the 10th century onward, scholars systematised the abundance of legal knowledge by means of the maxims to a far greater extent than before”, according to the scholar of Islamic studies Prof. Dr. Norbert Oberauer of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.