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A new working group at the Cluster of Excellence is to deal with the issue of “Epidemics”. The Research Cloud adopts the perspective of many disciplines and epochs to investigate how interpretations of epidemics have changed over time, and is exploring above all the specific way in which religious, political and scientific communities and institutions deal with epidemics. It also focuses on the function of epidemic crises as movements for political reform and innovation. The aim is to unite the interdisciplinary knowledge in the Cluster of Excellence on this issue and to seek impulses for further work, including on the social dynamics of religion in times of crisis.

In recent weeks, the Cluster of Excellence has provided public debates with a great deal of expertise from the humanities and social sciences: with contributions on fundamental moral questions and the suspension of basic rights, on earlier epidemics, on the crisis as something that unites or divides society, on rituals and fears, and on the relationships between science, politics, and the media. We invite you to read a collection of guest contributions, reports and interviews from various disciplines and perspectives in print and online media as well as radio and television. (exc/vvm)