Comparing pre-modern and modern cultures, the „Normativity“ field of research examines concepts of normativity as well as the normative foundations of these concepts and the underlying ideas of validity and legitimacy. Research is aimed at, on the one hand, the genesis and structure of modern normativity. Here, the researchers will particularly focus at the emergence, but also at changes in or even the retreat from modern principles of secular statehood. On the other hand, a comparative analysis is directed at questions of how norms regulating social orders and religious communities have differed at various times with respect to their intellectual – religious or secular – grounds of validity, their scope, their enforceability by different religious and secular institutions, their ambiguity or clarity, and the media in which they have been expressed. In the Cluster of Excellence’s second funding period from 2012 to 2017 interdisciplinary work concentrates on three overarching questions: (1) When, why, and how do normative discourses within and among the fields of politics and religion as well as law become more “liquid” or more “fixed”?; (2) How can processes of norm implementation and norm enforcement be analysed as examples of the demarcation, shifting, or dissolution of boundaries between the religious and the political fields?; and (3) What influence do religions have on economic systems and behaviour?