The Research Programme of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt

The Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies follows a Weberian research programme that aims to advance comparative and interdisciplinary social studies characterized by theoretical reflexivity, historical depth and a focus on normative questions. The following areas of research were at the core of the research programme in the first years:

  • the hermeneutic and orienting capacities of religion, law and science
  • the interactions between cultures, societal orders and mentalities during periods of radical social change
  • action-theoretical principles in cultural and social sciences, and their linkages to and impacts on normative and, especially, ethical, questions

These larger issues are concretely encapsulated in the following formal research areas, which are further detailed below:

  • Normativity and Social Critique
  • Space-Time Regimes and Social Order
  • Religious Transformation

The research projects of the resident Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt researchers are supported and complemented by the work of the PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers (Kollegiaten) who are in turn supervised by fellows of the Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt. The academic work of the Kolleg is both comparative and historical. However, emphasis is placed on trans- and interdisciplinary linkages among the various academic fields represented at the institute, namely, Sociology, History, Economics, Religious Studies, Theology, Philosophy, and Law.