Some 200 academics from more than 20 disciplines in the humanities and social sciences do research in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics in Pre-Modern and Modern Cultures” of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. In recent years, several new institutions and third-party funding associations emerged from the Cluster of Excellence, which lend a more distinct profile to interdisciplinary religious research, incorporating it firmly into the University of Münster. The organisational backbone of the interdisciplinary cooperation are three period-specific research centres that serve to attract new research associations and to act as a forum for public events, publication series and journal editors.
The University of Münster’s small disciplines, which otherwise do not have the necessary resources to prepare research proposals, especially benefit from participation in the Centres. The university is home to several of these small disciplines – from archaeology and Egyptology to Westphalian regional history – many of which are also involved in the Cluster of Excellence. The Cluster’s interdisciplinary focus has contributed to their better institutional networking across different disciplines. The University of Münster will continue to promote this open culture of Centres and associations of researchers from small disciplines.
Center for Religion and Modernity (CRM): The Center for Religion and Modernity (CRM) was established within the context of the Cluster of Excellence in order to account for the new focus of religious studies in Law and the Social Sciences at the University of Münster. It concentrates and organises the research at the University of Münster on religions in the modern age. Since 2015, the Center has, with Campus Publishing, published the series “Religion and Modernity”, which has in the short time of its existence already become a coveted place of publication for external researchers, as well.
Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMF): The Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Centrum für Mittelalter- und Frühneuzeitforschung – CMF) emerged after decades of collaborative research over epochs at the University of Münster. It provides a forum to discuss the periods from the early Middle Ages to the so-called Sattelzeit around 1800 in their structural continuity, and thus to continue the long and successful cooperation between specialists in the Medieval and Early Modern period. At the same time, the Centre broadens its perspective and assumes a transcultural point of view, also looking at the Christian-Islamic contact zones as well as at the Jewish contribution to European and Mediterranean history. The CMF includes two departments, the Institute for Early Medieval Studies and the research unit for the modern history of Great Britain. The Centre publishes two leading historical journals, “Frühmittelalterliche Studien” and the “Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung”, which together cover the entire chronological spectrum from the early Middle Ages to the Sattelzeit.
Centre for Eastern Mediterranean History and Culture (GKM): he Centre for Eastern Mediterranean History and Culture (Centrum für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Mittelmeerraums) brings all the classical and ancient studies of the University of Münster into one network. The function of the centre is to intensify interdisciplinary cooperation, develop new research projects, and provide a forum for public events. In the interdisciplinary Masters programme “Ancient cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean” (Antike Kulturen des östlichen Mittelmeerraums, AKOEM), the GKM’s broad spectrum is also made use of in teaching.