News and Press Releases 2019

© Julia Holtkötter

When law freed itself from religion and politics

Münster legal historian Nils Jansen from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has presented the first comprehensive overview of the historical process by which law became an autonomous system in society, independent of religion, politics and science.


The Qurʾān in its Milieu of Origin

The aim of the conference “The Qurʾān in its Milieu of Origin” is to discuss scholarly methods for the contextual interpretation of the Qurʾān.

© Orbis Books

“New Paths for Interreligious Theology”

In “New Paths for Interreligious Theology” eleven scholars from five countries discuss Perry Schmidt-Leukel’s theory that religious diversity displays fractal structures.

© Springer VS

Key Works of the Sociology of Religion

The sociologists of religion Prof. Dr. Christel Gärtner of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” and Prof. Dr. Gert Pickel of the University of Leipzig have published a new collection entitled “Schlüsselwerke der Religionssoziologie” (Key Works of the Sociology of Religion).

© Peeters

Buddha Mind – Christ Mind

"Buddha Mind – Christ Mind" by religious studies scholar and theologian Perry Schmidt-Leukel is a Christian theological commentary on the Bodhicaryāvatāra, an Indian Buddhist classic from the 7th or 8th century.

© Holtkötter / Heeke

How religion is transmitted in families

Sociologists from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” are carrying out a study in Europe and Canada to determine how and why religion is transmitted to the next generation in some families and not in others.

© Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Unity in Conflict

As high as the importance of dynasties for pre-modern history was, so weak was generally their social unity. In his dissertation “Einheit im Konflikt” (Unity in Conflict), historian Lennart Pieper analyses the formation of dynasties between the 15th and 17th centuries using the numerous conflicts in the comital families of Lippe and Waldeck as examples.

© Detering

Commentaries on European Contract Laws

Legal scholars Nils Jansen and Reinhard Zimmermann provide rule-by-rule commentaries on European contract law, dealing with its modern manifestations as well as its historical and comparative foundations.

© Routledge

Gender and Violence

The new volume "Gender and Violence in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives" covers a range of issues and phenomena around gender-related violence in specific cultural and regional conditions.

© Ergon

Holy Trickery

In his dissertation, the historian Tobias Hoffmann of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has examined the significance of trickery in the Middle Ages using the example of bishops’ and abbots’ vitae.

© Herder

Reform – the same church, another thinking

The Catholic theologian Prof. Dr. Michael Seewald of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has published a new book, “Reform – Dieselbe Kirche anders denken (Reform – the Same Church, Another Thinking). In it he explores possibilities and limits of reforms in the Catholic Church.

© Mohr Siebeck

Normative Crises

The volume “Normative Crises” has emerged from the interdisciplinary work at the Cluster of Excellence. It analyses the structure of normative crises and normative transformation processes, particularly in the religious and political fields.

© CiM

“Münster’s knowledge freshly tapped!”

The lecture series “Münsters Wissen frisch gezapft!” (Münster’s knowledge freshly tapped!) will take place for the second time from the 1st to the 3rd of July.

© UAH/ Ediciones

Obeying and shaping

The political attitudes and actions of Jesuits in Chile between 1962 and 1983 are dealt with in a recently published monograph in Spanish by the historian Dr. Antje Schnoor. The book is a translation of her dissertation.

© Ergon Verlag

Sufism in Turkey

The dissertation of the scholar of Islamic studies Cüneyd Yildirim deals with the Ottoman Sufi community of the Malāmatiyya, which was formed in the 19th century.

© Mohr Siebeck

Contributions to political ethics

The Protestant theologian and social ethicist Prof. Dr. Arnulf von Scheliha of the Cluster of Excellence has published a volume containing twenty articles on political ethics that shed light on the relationship between religion and politics.

© Julian Lagemann

“Religious policy goes future”

Theology students from the University of Münster met with politicians and representatives of the parties’ youth organisations in Berlin. The workshop on religious policy was chaired by the Protestant theologians Prof. Dr. Arnulf von Scheliha and Uta Elisabeth Hohmann.

© WWU/ Peter Grewer

New Collaborative Research Centre

The new Collaborative Research Centre “Law and Literature”at the University of Münster will start on July 1. Legal scholar Prof. Dr. Fabian Wittreck from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is the centre’s deputy speaker.

© Adobe Stock/ Frank Gärtner

A refugee’s personality is a factor that decides how successful integration is

Refugees who are more willing to take risks, are more likely to return favours and are convinced that they have their own lives under control integrate more quickly into society, as a recent study shows. Among the authors is the psychologist Prof. Dr. Mitja Back from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" at the University of Münster.

© Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0 | Schlossmuseum, Weimar, Germany / Bridgeman Images | Andreas Kämper, Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaf

Newsletter presents new research programme

The newsletter of the WWU Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" has been published in time for the opening of the new funding phase. It presents the Cluster's new research programme and gives information about current research results, new publications and international conferences at the Cluster of Excellence.

© Verlag de Gruyter

New volume “Maps and Travel in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period“

The volume "Maps and Travel in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period", edited by Prof. Dr. Katrin Kogman‐Appel, professor of Jewish Studies, discusses the world as it was known in the Medieval and Early Modern periods, focusing on projects concerned with mapping as a conceptual and artistic practice, with visual representations of space, and with destinations of real and fictive travel.

© miralex/iStock

Were there any Middle Ages in Islam?

The scholar of Arabic studies Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer will discuss theses of his publication “Warum es kein islamisches Mittelalter gab” (Why There Were No Islamic Middle Ages) with researchers from history, philosophy and religious studies. The panel discussion on 25 April 2019 will deal with the benefits and disadvantages of epochal boundaries in a global historical perspective.

© Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0 | Schlossmuseum, Weimar, Germany / Bridgeman Images | Andreas Kämper, Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft

Opening ceremony for new Cluster of Excellence funding phase

The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics. Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation” at the University of Münster will open the new funding phase within the Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments with a ceremony on 10 May, where the renowned Oxford University historian Prof Dr Lyndal Roper will deliver a keynote lecture on “Cranach’s Luther”.

© exc

Research focus: Dynamics

Legal scholar Prof. Nils Jansen, speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, Prof. Christopher Deninger and Prof. Mario Ohlberger from the Cluster of Excellence “Mathematics Münster, and the biochemist Prof. Lydia Sorokin from Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence explain what they understand by the term “dynamic” in their research.

© exc

“I can reach young Muslims in Germany and other countries”

Islamic scholar Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer is principal investigator in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” and has been working hard to create a nuanced image of Islamic culture in Germany – often in difficult political times. In his portrait, the Leibniz Prize winner talks about ambiguity tolerance, clichés from the Arabian Nights and a forgotten Arab poet.

© Ergon Verlag

Power and Literature

The Mediävistenverband has awarded its Doctoral Dissertation Prize to the dissertation “Macht und Literatur bei Timuriden und Habsburgern” (Power and Literature with the Timurids and Habsburgs) by the German philologist Kristina Rzehak.

© Hilla Südhaus

Voices from Beyond

A research project at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has approached the voice in a religious context: scholars have studied the voice as a medium of religious communication, and have discovered in historical testimonies, as well as in literature and artwork from various religions and cultures from antiquity to the present day, what can be called “voices from beyond”.

© WWU/ Peter Grewer

“The constitutional law of religion is ready for the future”

Even 100 years after the constitutional law of religion was adopted, legal scholars believe that it is still suitable for addressing new challenges such as the integration of Islam. The new public lecture series “Conditions of Religious Modernity. 100 Years of the Constitutional Law of Religion in Germany” starts on 2 April.

© Mohr Siebeck

“Religious education for all?”

A new study by legal scholar Prof. Dr. Hinnerk Wißmann of the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” asks how “religious education for all” challenges the current constitutional law of religion.

© exc

“I would never otherwise have asked how important religion is in law”

Law scholar Prof Nils Jansen has been speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” since this year. In his portrait, he talks about his research on Spanish late scholasticism and its influence on today's law as well as the advantages of interdisciplinary work in the Cluster of Excellence.

© exc

"I want to show Jewish culture in all its richness"

With the Jewish studies scholar Katrin Kogman-Appel, the WWU succeeded in 2016 in bringing one of the most internationally renowned experts in this field to Münster. She enriches conversations about world religions, conversations for which the University offers ideal conditions, not least with the "Religion and Politics" Cluster of Excellence.

© Wikimedia Commons/Barnos

100 years of religious constitutional law

The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is to host in the summer semester the public lecture series “Conditions of Religious Modernity: 100 years of religious constitutional law in Germany”. The lectures will take place in lecture hall J3 of the Juridicum, Universitätsstraße 14-16, in Münster every Tuesday at 18.15 from 2 April to 9 July.

© Hans-Peter Großhans

Religion and Politics in Myanmar

The Protestant theologian Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Großhans and the scholar of religious studies and theologian Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel have discussed Myanmar's tension-laden connections between ethnic and religious diversity at a conference in Yangon.

© Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Christian-Muslim Dialogues

In her habilitation thesis, the scholar of religious studies Dr. Jutta Sperber examined the Christian-Muslim dialogues of the Vatican until the death of Pope John Paul II for elements that characterise man and his position before God and in the world.

© Marianne Ertl

Award for Research into the NS Martyr Cult

In Vienna, the historian Dr. Sarah Thieme was awarded the “Irma Rosenberg Prize” 2018 for research on the history of National Socialism. She received the prize for her dissertation on the National Socialist Martyr Cult.

© Ferdinand Schöningh
© Lothar Wolleh/Wikimedia Commons

“Catholicism and Religious Freedom”

Just about fifty years ago, in its declaration on religious freedom at the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church programmatically dispensed with political coercion as a means of enforcing its claim to truth. In this volume the authors dispute how the Church came to its position.

© Ergon-Verlag
© wikimedia/Mladifilozof

Religion and Decision-making

The new volume on religion and decision-making of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” examines religious decisions from antiquity to the present day. It is based on lectures given in two lecture series of the Cluster of Excellence.

© Berghahn Books

Bulwark myths through Europe’s eastern periphery

The “bulwark myth” — whereby a region is imagined as a defensive barrier against a dangerous Other — has been a persistent strand in the development of Eastern European nationalisms. “Rampart Nations” uncovers the mutual transfers and multi-sided national and interconfessional conflicts that helped to spread bulwark myths through Eastern Europe.