Major success: University of Münster receives funding for two Clusters of Excellence
On 27 September 2018, the Joint Commission of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council for Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) announced their decision on funding for the new Clusters of Excellence. The University of Münster was successful with two of its three applications:
Mathematics is a key technology for scientific and economic progress. New discoveries in mathematics are not only interesting in themselves, but they often lead to unexpected breakthroughs in other sciences as well.
The proposal focuses on fundamental mathematical research. The research of Münster University's mathematicians is unified by two major guiding principles. These are the geometric viewpoint on structures and the study of the relevant dynamics of group or semi-group actions. Both principles have a long tradition and their importance for mathematics has been ever growing.
"The success in the first evaluation round of the Excellence Strategy is a nice confirmation of our past mathematical achievements and strategic objectives at WWU Münster. At the same time it is also stimulating new structural developments and further cutting-edge research projects in mathematics", says Prof. Mario Ohlberger, spokesperson of the initiative.
Spokespersons: Prof. Dr. Christopher Deninger, Prof. Dr. Mario Ohlberger Participating Institutes: Institute for Analysis and Numerics, Institute for Mathematical Stochastics, Institute for Mathematical Logic and Foundations of Mathematics, Mathematical Institute
Religion and Politics. Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation
In the “Religion and Politics” Cluster of Excellence of the University of Münster (WWU), some 200 academics from 14 countries deal with the relationship of religion and politics across epochs and cultures. The research programme, started in 2007, draws on the expertise from around 20 subjects in the humanities and social sciences of WWU. The projects range from antiquity until the present day: from the world of ancient gods and Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period to the current situation in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) now invited the Cluster of Excellence to submit a full proposal for a new funding period starting in 2019. The speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, sociologist of religion Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack, stated:
“We are pleased that, in the months ahead, we may elaborate the new research programme that we have developed in our draft proposal under the title ‘Religion and Politics. Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation’. At the beginning of the millennium, we are experiencing political and social upheavals all over the world in which religion plays a key role. Given the confusing situation, it is controversial what exactly its role is. It is all the more necessary to avoid simplifying cause definitions and to develop a reflexive distance. Only if we analyse the current conflicts from a historically sharpened and interdisciplinarily open perspective will we, as scientists, be able to provide societally relevant orientation knowledge. In a competition, we have already selected project ideas from seven faculties of WWU, which implement the planned research fields and questions and make them empirically concrete.
The aim is to make Münster the most distinguished centre of interdisciplinary religious research in Germany. The Cluster of Excellence has already created permanent structures to strengthen religious research at WWU: new professorships focusing on religion and politics have emerged, for example in political science, sociology, Jewish studies and Islamic studies, and so have new centres such as the Center for Religion and Modernity (Centrum für Religion und Moderne – CRM) and the Centre for Islamic Theology (Zentrum für Islamische Theologie – ZIT). The' Campus of Religions' will be added in the next years, which will bring together old and new institutional structures. The Campus is intended to strengthen both interdisciplinary cooperation and interreligious understanding. We will thus exceed the field of purely academic work: the dialogue with politics, religions and the public sphere through intensive research communication will remain an important aspect of our endeavour also in future.”
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack, Faculty of Educational and Social Science; Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Faculty of History and Philosophy Participating disciplines: History, Law, Political Studies, Sociology of Religion, Religious Studies, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Islamic Theology, Psychology, Classical and Modern Philology and Philosophy, Art History, Arabic Studies, Ethnology, Ancient Middle Eastern Studies, Archaeology, Egyptology, Jewish Studies, Byzantine Studies, Musicology and Book Studies of the University of Münster