News and Press Releases 2023

© BLB NRW / David Inderlied

"Theologies and Religious Studies Campus" to open at the end of 2025

Topping-out ceremony at the University of Münster for the “Theologies and Religious Studies Campus”, the only one of its kind in Germany: the new Hüffer campus is due to be completed in around two years. The Faculty of Protestant Theology, the Faculty of Catholic Theology, and the Centre for Islamic Theology will move together into the building complex at the end of 2025. 

© exc

This was the annual theme "Religious Dynamics"

In the 2022/23 annual theme, the members of the Cluster of Excellence focussed on "Religious Dynamics" from antiquity to the present day. Numerous public lectures, panels and discussion evenings, film screenings and readings by contemporary authors focused on a variety of case studies from different eras and religions - linked to the question of how religious dynamics are set in motion in politics and society, how religions initiate, accelerate and promote such changes, but also inhibit them.

© EXC / Kogman-Appel

"Practices of 'cultural appropriation' across epochs and regions" - Interview regarding research on the adoption of religious buildings and ideas in the pre-modern period

Researchers at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” are concerned with transcultural entanglements and disentanglements, and are currently investigating forms of “cultural appropriation” in premodern periods. Organized by the Jewish scholar Prof. Dr. Katrin Kogman-Appel, the medieval historian Prof. Dr. Wolfram Drews, and the medievalist Franziska Kleybolte, the international conference “Premodern Forms of Cultural Appropriation?” invited international researchers to discuss views on the issue. The lectures from the fields of history, Jewish studies, Egyptology, theology, and art history dealt with examples of potential “cultural appropriation” from the Mycenaean period to the Pacific region of the 17th century.

Reading with author Patrick Roth on video [DE]

The author Patrick Roth draws on Biblical material in his books, and explores religious experience from the perspective of depth psychology. The reading series “Religious Dynamics” in the annual theme of the same name ended at the Cluster of Excellence with Roth reading from his works. The author employs cinematic modes of representation to illuminate religious motifs. He read at the Cluster of Excellence from his novel Sunrise and the short story collection Gottesquartett.

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Reading with author Felicitas Hoppe on video [DE]

In her books, author Felicitas Hoppe combines adventure and fairytale with an autofictional narrative, with the theme of religion running through all her works. She read from her books as part of the Cluster of Excellence’s reading series “Religious Dynamics in Literature”.

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Reading with author Zafer Şenocak on video [DE]

The author Zafer Şenocak deals in his works with religious and secular worldviews and Islam in Germany. The reading series “Existential, Humorous, Critical: Religious Dynamics in Literature” in the 2022/23 annual theme “Religious Dynamics” saw him read at the Cluster of Excellence from his novel In deinen Worten and his poetry collection Lichtbruch.

© Stock Adobe Maylim

Islamic law in the melting pot of the modern state

An international conference at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” dealt with the role of Islamic law in modern states, with the researchers exploring for example whether the Islamic values and norms that Islamic states have adopted differently in their legal systems can be reconciled with the concepts of normative modernity. The conference was organized by the legal scholars Prof. Dr. Thomas Gutmann and Dr. Bahman Khodadadi. The latter is moving from Münster to the “Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization” at Yale Law School.

© gallica.bnfr

The Secular-Mendicant Controversy and its Long Aftermath

The 13th century debates between mendicant friars and secular clergy and their long aftermath will be the focus on an international conference at the Cluster of Excellence on 1.-3. June, 2023. This famous controversy pitted masters of the university of Paris and clerical groups against the rising new mendicant orders. The conference aims to question how medieval discourses were discussed and connected to modern narratives of church history. It will also present results of the project C3-17 “Observing religion”, which discussed religious diversity within medieval Latin Christianity.

© David Roberts, Wikimedia Commons

Cosmocracy in the shadow of war and experiences of war

Cosmocracy in the shadow of war and experiences of war The idea of Christ as cosmocrator, i.e. as world ruler, dates in large part from the period around the first Jewish-Roman war and the revolt of the Judeans in the second half of the 1st century. A conference beginning on 18 May at the Cluster of Excellence will deal with the question of what interactions can be observed in the context of this war between experiences of war, early Christian ideas of cosmocracy, and Roman imperial ideology.

© Institut für Arabistik und Islamwissenschaft / Natalie Kraneiß

Complete Literary Works of Ibn Nubatah al-Misri: German Research Foundation (DFG) to continue funding for editing project by Islamic Scholar Thomas Bauer

The Arabic scholar and Leibniz Prize winner Thomas Bauer has received funding for the second time for his project to edit the work of the poet Ibn Nubatah al-Misri (1287-1366). Led by Bauer and the Arabic scholar Syrinx von Hees, the long-term project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) brings together Arabic scholars from the University of Münster. The Arab world has long recognised the Egyptian Ibn Nubatah’s classic status, but most of his work is only available in manuscript form or in poor quality prints.

© Uni MS - Robert Matzke

New research on foreign rule

How did xenocracy, or foreign rule, function? A new research group at the University of Münster is studying the phenomenon from antiquity to the 19th century. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is providing the project with around 2.5 million euros over the next four years. Involved from the Cluster of Excellence are Ulrike Ludwig, Hans Beck, Patrick Sänger, Gesa Schenke, Wolfram Drews, Jens Niebaum, and Eva-Bettina Krems.

Study on Theories of Doctrinal Development published in English

The book ‚Theories of Doctrinal Development in the Catholic Church‘ by the historian of dogma Prof. Dr. Michael Seewald has now been published in English. The book presents theories of how Catholic doctrine has developed from antiquity to the present day. It is also available in German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

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Religion played a minor role in coping with corona

Religion played a minor role in coping with corona The corona pandemic saw many people in Germany look increasingly for the meaning of life, while only a minority found guidance through religion. This is a finding from the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Religion Monitor 2023. Involved in evaluating the data were sociologist of religion Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack and political scientist Carolin Hillenbrandt from the Cluster of Excellence.

© University of Oregon

Podcast by Thorsten Quandt: On hate and trolling in social media

Communication scientist Thorsten Quandt from the Cluster of Excellence is investigating “dark participation” on the internet and its consequences for democracy. A conversation with Seth Lewis in the University of Oregon’s podcast “Hearst Demystifying Media Series”.