Tradition(s): interdisciplinary and transepochal

A discussion series held by the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”

© exc

Traditions are reinterpreted, reshaped, concealed, veiled, or even invented – according to what the communities that carry them require. The second annual theme of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is entitled “Tradition(s)”. Using selected examples ranging from antiquity to the present, it deals with the emergence and transformation of traditions as well as with the process of transmission itself, with how various disciplines conceptualize this process, and with the significance that this process has for understanding religions.

The discussion series “Tradition(s): interdisciplinary and transepochal” will bring together in the summer term of 2022 scholars from philosophy, law, history, Protestant and Catholic theology, as well as sociology and political science. They will discuss on the three discussion evenings the themes “Tradition and Normativity”, “Tradition and Competition”, and “Tradition and Rationality”. (exc/sca)

Discussion evening “Tradition and Normativity”

19 April 2022 | 6.15 p.m. | Lecture room JO 1, Johannisstraße 4, and via Zoom (by prior registration)

Traditions are important sources of orientation for the groups that carry them. For example, conventions are passed on that can help people cope with everyday life. However, traditions also convey moral – and thus ethically contested – beliefs and practices, with criticism of tradition therefore being able to become a normative demand itself. But how does the normative claim that can be ascribed to the traditional relate to the normative demand that the traditional always be criticized?

The panel will feature:

  • Prof. Dr. Franziska Dübgen, philosopher
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Gutmann, legal scholar
  • Prof. Dr. Arnulf von Scheliha, Protestant theologian
  • Chair: Dr. Manon Westphal, political scientist


Discussion evening “Tradition and Competition”

24 May 2022 | 6.15 p.m. | Lecture Hall JO 1, Johannisstraße 4, and via Zoom (by prior registration)

The question of what is handed down to whom and in what way is riven by competition. Groups or individuals maintain different beliefs or practices, and may try to prevent other groups from transmitting these in order to gain an advantage of transmission for themselves. There is thus competition for the scarce commodity of what can be handed down. Conversely, traditions can be reinterpreted or even reinvented, so that what was once marginalized or censored appears in a new light. The discussion evening will examine examples of such competitive relationships from antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the modern period.

The panel will feature:

  • Prof. Dr. Wolfram Drews, historian
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Funke, historian
  • Prof. Dr. Hubert Wolf, church historian
  • Chair: Prof. Dr. Ricarda Vulpius, historian

Discussion evening “Tradition and Rationality”

28 June 2022 | 6.15 p.m. | Lecture Hall S 10, Schlossplatz 2, and via Zoom (by prior registration)

Within modernization theories, traditional, supposedly unreflective forms of behaviour have occasionally been contrasted with reflective and considered forms of behaviour. Although criticism has often been levelled at this schematization, the juxtaposition of tradition and rationality leaves its mark. The discussion investigates how the two variables could be related to each other sociologically and philosophically, but also by means of selected examples from history.

The panel will feature:

  • Prof. Dr. Silke Mende, historian
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Quante, philosopher
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Renn, sociologist
  • Chair: Jürgen Kaube, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Venue and registration

19 April and 24 May 2022: Lecture hall JO 1, Johannisstr. 4, 48143 Münster

28 June 2022: Lecture hall S 10, Schloss Münster, Schlossplatz 2, 48149 Münster

Participation via Zoom: register at (by midday Tuesday on the date of the event)