New research projects expand the range of themes at the Cluster of Excellence

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The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is expanding its research programme with five projects from the fields of the sociology of religion and political science, as well as from classical studies and history. The new projects deal with themes ranging from “Religious conservatism and the support for right-wing populist parties” and “Localism and religion in ancient Greece”, to “Divination and politics in the early-modern period” and “Ephesus and its cult spaces: projections of political and religious practice”, to “Cross-organizational and cross-national differences in religious accommodation”.

Of the new Cluster members, two scholars were appointed to the University of Münster in the winter term of 2019/20. The historian Ulrike Ludwig is the new chair for Modern and Contemporary History with a special focus on the early-modern period, while the sociologist Ines Michalowski is the new chair for the Sociology of Religion.

The Cluster of Excellence will also be strengthened by the Professor of Comparative Political Science, Armin Schäfer, and by the classical scholars Hans Beck and Patrick Sänger, chair for Ancient History with a focus on Greek history, and for Ancient History with a focus on auxiliary sciences respectively. The five University of Münster scholars have been incorporated into the Cluster of Excellence as part of an ideas contest organized by the Cluster to establish new research projects on “Religion and Politics”.

The Cluster of Excellencehas been investigating since 2007 the complex relationship between religion and politics across eras and cultures. The 140 researchers from 20 disciplines in the humanities and social sciences focus in the funding phase (2019 to 2025) on the “dynamics of tradition and innovation”. They analyze in transepochal studies ranging from antiquity to the present day the conditions and factors that make religion an engine of political and social change. In  approximately 80 individual projects the researchers concentrate on the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and on their polytheistic precursors. The focus of interest is on Europe and the Mediterranean region, as well as on their entanglements with the Near East, Africa, North and Latin America. (maz/vvm)

The Cluster of Excellence has incorporated the following projects: