Research focus "Religion and Politics"
The research focus “Religion and Politics has been investigating since 2007 the complex relationship between religion and politics across eras and cultures. The 140 researchers from 20 disciplines in the humanities and social sciences focus on the “dynamics of tradition and innovation”. They analyze in transepochal studies ranging from antiquity to the present day the conditions and factors that make religion an engine of political and social change, with their focus being above all on the paradox that religions often develop their innovative potential precisely by drawing on their traditions.
The researchers concentrate on the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and on their polytheistic precursors. The focus of interest is on Europe and the Mediterranean region, as well as on their entanglements with the Near East, Africa, North and Latin America. The research network is the largest of its kind in Germany; and, of the Clusters of Excellence, one of the oldest and the only one to deal with the issue of religion.
The University of Münster has become through the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” a nationally and internationally outstanding location for interdisciplinary research on religion – in terms of size and diversity of disciplines, methods, cultures and epochs. An internationally unique “Campus of Religions” will be established at the University in 2023, which will bring together Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox and Islamic theology, as well as institutions of non-denominational research on religion, and promote inter- and transdisciplinary, as well as interreligious, exchange. The University set up a Centre for Digital Humanities (CDH) in 2017, which brings together researchers working in the Digital Humanities at the University.
Interdisciplinary cooperation in the research focus “Religion and Politics” benefits from three epoch-related research centres that have emerged from the Cluster: the Centre for Religion and Modernity (CRM), the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMF), and the Centre for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (GKM). A guest professorship in religion and politics, the “Hans Blumenberg Professorship” (named after the famous Münster philosopher), brings innovative momentum from international research to Münster and strengthens its interdisciplinarity.