From Religion in Goethe to Atheistic Ideas for the Future

Numerous international visiting fellows at the Cluster of Excellence in the summer semester

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In the summer semester, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” will again welcome a great number of international visiting fellows who have been invited by one or several of the members of the research association to conduct research and give public lectures in Münster. Two scholars are proven experts for the Orthodox churches. During his stay in Münster in June, orthodox theologian Prof. Dr Cyril Hovorun of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles will continue his research on the question of how the Russian Orthodox Church is instrumentalised for political goals. He has been invited by sociologist of religion Prof. Dr Detlef Pollack. On 13 June, at the invitation of the historian Dr Liliya Berezhnaya, historian and religious scholar Dr Irina Paert, who teaches at the Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS) of the University of Tartu (Estonia), will speak in Münster about the historical background of the question of women’s rights in today’s Russian Orthodoxy.

Social ethicist Prof. Dr William Barbieri of the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, who will stay in Münster from 18 May to 15 June at the invitation of social ethicist and Catholic theologian Prof. Dr Marianne Heimbach-Steins, is investigating borders, migration and their ethical implications. Prof. Dr Samuel Scheffler, one of the most renowned authors of contemporary practical philosophy, will be visiting the Cluster of Excellence in July. He has been invited by the philosophers Dr Matthias Hoesch and Dr Amir Mohseni. His reflections on the relationship between atheistic ideas of the future and religious ideas of the beyond offer many starting points for future research at the Cluster of Excellence. The literary scholar, writer and Kleist Prize winner Prof. Dr Dirk von Petersdorff will be in Münster at the invitation of literary scholar Prof. Dr Martina Wagner-Egelhaaf and, on 3 July, will talk about the religious aspects of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poetry.

In April, at the invitation of Prof. Dr Detlef Pollack, the Bosnian sociologist and guest scholar Stipe Odak from the Belgian Université catholique de Louvain gave a lecture on the role of religious leaders in conflict resolution and peacekeeping in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the invitation of the Cluster of Excellence’s coordinated project group “Protestantism and the German State in the 20th Century”, historian Prof. Dr Claudia Lepp from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) dedicated a public evening lecture in Münster in April to the relationship between the Protestant Church and the state in the GDR.

“Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professorship for Religion and Politics”

In the summer semester 2018, the Cluster of Excellence is also looking forward to welcoming renowned “Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professors” again: Iceland-born sociologist Jóhann Páll Árnason, who will give lectures “On the Question of a Religious-Political Constitution of Modernity” (in German), and US American sociologist and religious scholar Mark Juergensmeyer, who will present “Religion and War” in Münster. The “Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professorship for Religion and Politics” – named after the influential Münster philosopher Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996) – is to contribute to bringing innovative stimuli from international research to Münster and consolidating the interdisciplinary compatibility at the Cluster of Excellence. (sca/vvm)