Field of research A "Transcultural entanglement and disentanglement"

Cultures and religions are not self-contained, homogeneous, objective entities; they do not evolve in spaces isolated from one another. Rather, they emerge and develop in interaction with other religions and cultures: through processes of mixing, translation, transformation, acculturation, assimilation, reception, interpretation, reinterpretation, but also of resistance, opposition and conquest.

Field of research A focuses on two areas: entanglements and disentanglements. On the one hand, it investigates how transcultural and transreligious entanglements enable religion to renew itself and to mobilize people. Analyzing such entanglements is important when it comes to explaining the specific dynamics involved in preserving tradition and being open to innovation. Periods of cultural and religious innovations have also always been periods of intensified cross-border interaction of ideas, goods and people.

On the other, the field of research focuses on tendencies of disentanglement, demarcation, exclusion and opposition to the “other”, as well as on processes of forgetting. Withdrawing to one’s own religious tradition and thereby demarcating it from other traditions can often serve not only to safeguard one’s own tradition, but also to assert its superiority over competing claims and thereby to influence them.

What is investigated here are the conditions that tend to favour appropriation and syncretization; that foster reactions of rejection and demarcation or disregard; and that encourage the one to transform into the other.

Field of research A Transcultural entanglement and disentanglement builds on research carried out in the past funding phase (2007-2018) as part of the then Interconnecting platform F Transcultural Entanglements.

Coordination of field of research A:

Projects of field of research A