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:
The Clusters will receive funding for a period of seven years with effect from 1 January 2019. Because the minimum two Clusters have been approved, the University of Münster submitted an application on December 10 to receive funding as a University of Excellence. The decision on this funding line will be announced on 19 July 2019.
The current Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence will receive bridge financing from the German Research Foundation (DFG) until 2019 in order to complete ongoing research projects.
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
Since its establishment more than ten years ago, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has dealt with the historically changing relationship between religion and politics in Europe, the Mediterranean region, the United States and Latin America, as well as in India and regions of Africa. The spectrum ranges in terms of content from antiquity to the present, from Judaism, Christianity and Islam to modern forms of esotericism.
Taking up these research areas and continuing interdisciplinary collaboration, the Cluster will focus its work in the new funding phase on the question of how religion can stimulate, contain and modify societal and political debates, where the dynamic potency of religion lies, and which external conditions encourage or limit its ability to mobilize people. This will focus attention on the active role of religion in the political and social conflicts of the past and present. In order to grasp the political and social dynamics of religion in the interplay of tradition and innovation, the Cluster will focus on working out different structural, semantic and practical tensions: tensions between (1) transcultural entanglement and disentanglement, (2) religious diversity and legal-political unity, and (3) criticism of religion and religious apology.
Our long-term goal is to make Münster the leading centre for interdisciplinary research on religion in Germany and Europe. The Cluster can already build on a series of sustainable structural changes at the WWU, on the creation of new professorships in, for example, Jewish and Islamic studies, and in the political and social sciences, as well as on the establishment of the Centre for Islamic Theology (ZIT), the Institute for Jewish Studies, and the Centre for Religion and Modernity (CRM). In addition, a “Campus of Religions” will come into being, which, by spatially integrating old and new institutional structures, will strengthen interdisciplinary cooperation, in particular between denominational and non-denominational research on religion, and will promote interreligious understanding.
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack, Sociology of Religion; Faculty of Education and Social Sciences Participating disciplines: history, law and political science; sociology of religion and religious studies; Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Islamic theology; psychology; classical and modern philology; and philosophy, art history, Arabic studies, ethnology, ancient Assyriology, archaeology, Egyptology, Jewish studies, Byzantine studies, musicology.