New Publication: Symeon Seth, Fabelbuch.

The new publication by Kai Brodersen is about ancient animal fables for a prosperous coexistence.

The ancient Greek animal fables of Aesop are familiar to many; indeed, one often equates "fable" and "Aesop". Yet there is a rich tradition of fables in the ancient Orient, which came to the Arab world and then also interested the Greek Mediterranean world. The learned Symeon Seth worked at the Byzantine court in the 11th century. In addition to writings on natural history, astronomy and medicine, he produced two influential works: an "A and O of Eating and Drinking" and a Greek version of the old Indian collection of fables "Kalila wa-Dimna", which came to Byzantium via Arabia. In dialogues and fables, a king is told what is best for a prosperous coexistence.

The first bilingual edition of Symeon Seth's book of fables has now been published by Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt. It makes it possible to read, in original text and translation, a work that had an enormous influence on modern concepts of the good social life.

Kai Brodersen
Symeon Seth, Fabelbuch.
bilingual edition
Speyer: KDV 2021
ISBN: 9783939526469
172 pages


New publication: "Nikomachos von Gerasa: Einführung in die Arithmetik."

Under the title "Nicomachus von Gerasa: Einführung in die Arithmetik." a new book by Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture, has been published by De Gruyter.

In the early 2nd century AD, Nicomachus of Gerasa wrote a work on arithmetic in which he skilfully presented and illustrated the number theory that goes back to Pythagoras and his school. It deals with prime numbers including the "sieve of Eratosthenes" as well as numbers of all other kinds, the relation of numbers, but also square and cubic numbers and mean values. Nicomachus clearly presents ancient number theory and thus became a key figure for later mathematics. The work was highly influential: the scholars Apuleius (2nd century) and Boethius (5th/6th century) translated it into Latin, several commentaries from late antiquity have survived, and the Greek philosopher Proclus (5th century) even saw himself as the reincarnation of Nicomachus. Indeed, as late as the 14th century, Nicomachus appears alongside Socrates and Cicero as one of the most important thinkers of antiquity on the Schöner Brunnen in Nuremberg.

Kai Brodersen has now translated the work into German for the first time and presented it in a bilingual edition with an introduction and explanations. The book thus provides new access to one of the most powerful representations of ancient mathematics.

Kai Brodersen
Nikomachos von Gerasa: Einführung in die Arithmetik.
bilingual edition (Tusculum Collection)
Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021
ISBN: 978-3-11-073526-0
240 pages
39.95 EUR

New publication: "Soziale Unterstützung in Online-Kommunikationsmodi"


Under the title "Soziale Unterstützung in Online-Kommunikationsmodi. Die Perspektive der prosozial Handelnden" ("Social support in online communication modes. The Perspective of Prosocial Actors"), a new publication by Paula Stehr, research associate at the Professorship for Communication Science with a focus on social communication, was published by Halem Verlag.

Social interactions and relationships play a major role in our health. A central construct here is the so-called "social support". The perspective of those who provide support has received little attention in research so far. With reference to the state of knowledge on prosocial action, Paula Stehr's new book aims to add to the perspective of the actors.

Online modes offer specific conditions for the exchange of social support: in anonymous online forums, people exchange information on stigmatising diseases, socially anxious people benefit from greater control over self-expression in channel-reduced modes, and people with mobility impairments can participate in communities in a media-mediated, location-independent and self-determined way. The book deals on the one hand with the framework conditions of online modes for the exchange of social support and on the other hand with the consequences for psychological and subjective well-being.

The empirical part is based on a so-called "sequential mixed-method design" in which three different studies build on each other: a partially standardised diary study on support services in different communication modes, guideline interviews with prosocially acting actors on social networking sites and a final standardised survey of forum users. The results show that online modes broaden people's prosocial interaction possibilities and offer specific opportunities for social support exchange. This exchange can have a positive influence on well-being, which can be attributed not only to receiving but also to actively providing support.

Paula Stehr
Soziale Unterstützung in Online-Kommunikationsmodi
Die Perspektive der prosozial Handelnden
Halem Verlag, 2021
ISBN 978-3-86962-592-8
336 pages
36 EUR

New publication: "Großes Kino. Monumentale DDR-Filmplakate der 1960er-Jahre"

Großes Kino

Under the title "Großes Kino. Monumentale DDR-Filmplakate der 1960er-Jahre", a new book by Patrick Rössler, Professorof Communication Studies with a focus on Empirical Communication Research/Methods, has been published by Bertz und Fischer.

Documents on film in the GDR are important materials for researching recent German cultural history. The film poster enjoys special esteem, as it was almost without exception commissioned work by renowned graphic designers who conceived an independent visual solution for each film. Largely unknown today, however, is a special type of poster that was used very effectively in cinema advertising: the so-called 'large format' (Großfläche) in triple A0, which had to be assembled from three individual parts on the billboard. These panoramas, which were a good metre high and almost two and a half metres wide, developed an outstanding visual power - but they have hardly survived in the archives today: Only a small number of the elaborate, oversized prints on stronger paper were produced and these were primarily processed by pasting them on, so that they were lost after use and simply pasted over.

To mark the 75th anniversary of DEFA's founding, this volume presents for the first time more than 150 of these rare large-format posters, produced in the first half of the 1960s. Not only because of their sheer size do these products of contemporary commercial art impress to this day: since the advertising message had to be laid out in landscape format, delightful variations of familiar motifs can be discovered here. For example, designers liked to use the extra space to highlight film titles and slogans, while elements of the original poster design were rearranged, placed and graphically integrated.
The publication documents a poster collection of the Interdisciplinary Research Unit for Historical Media (IFhM) at the University of Erfurt.

Patrick Rössler
Großes Kino. Monumentale DDR-Filmplakate der 1960er-Jahre
Verlag Bertz und Fischer, 2021
ISBN 978-3-86505-420-3
184 pages
29 EUR

New publication: Lycosthenes - Zeichen und Wunder


The world is an uncertain place: Again and again we are threatened by epidemics, catastrophes and wars that we do not foresee, but which completely disrupt our lives. Since ancient times, people have therefore tried to explore the future by means of signs and wonders. The humanist Lycosthenes wanted to make this knowledge useful for modern times: For anyone who understands the omens that existed in history can change his or her behaviour and perhaps still avert disaster.

Lycosthenes' book was a "bestseller" after its publication in 1552. Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, now presents it in a new translation in two languages for the first time. Included are the 56 woodcuts of the first edition, which vividly illustrate how the signs and wonders were imagined and may still be imagined today. Perhaps Lycosthenes was right - and we can learn from history?

Kai Brodersen
Lycosthenes: Zeichen und Wunder
Wiesbaden: Verlagshaus Römerweg, 2021
ISBN: 978-3-7374-1169-1
224 pages
15 EUR

New guidebook: "Facts Check Vaccination"


A new guidebook on vaccination will be published by Gräfe und Unzer on 2 March. In it, authors Nicola Kuhrt, Jan Oude-Aost and Cornelia Betsch explore the pros and cons of vaccination.

Opinions are often divided when it comes to vaccination - many people follow their doctor's recommendations, others think long and hard, search for information until their heads start spinning, and no longer know what and whom to believe. The new guidebook "Facts-Check Vaccination" provides compact answers to the most important practical questions and clarifies widespread myths and misinformation according to the current state of science. For those who want it to be short, practical and understandable, this book provides a valuable basis for decision-making. This way, everyone can make the best decision for their child or themselves.

Nicola Kuhrt, Jan Oude-Aost und Cornelia Betsch
Fakten-Check Impfen: Pro & Contra auf den Grund gegangen
(Reihe: GU Reader Körper, Geist & Seele)
Gräfe und Unzer Verlag, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-3833877728
160 pages
14.99 EUR

The Protestant Church between co-determination and self-determination


A new publication by René Smolarski, research assistant at the Department of History at the University of Erfurt, has been published by Mohr Siebeck, deals with the ambivalence of the Protestant Church in questions of employee participation from the post-war period until the adoption of the co-determination law of 1976.

Since the end of the war, the development of the right of co-determination in the Federal Republic of Germany has repeatedly been marked by strong conflicts. Statements on the debate on co-determination were also repeatedly made by the Protestant side during the period under review, particularly in the run-up to the various legislative initiatives. This took place both through official statements and from various Protestant working groups and numerous individuals. The relationship between Protestantism and the co-determination debate is of particular significance, since the church was not only indirectly affected by the co-determination issue as a social-ethical authority, but also directly affected by the related state regulations as one of the largest employers in the country. For this reason, René Smolarski, who is currently working on the project "Protestantism in the Ethical Debates of the Federal Republic of Germany 1949-1989" at the University of Erfurt, uses selected Protestant statements to demonstrate the ambivalence of the church's position on this question.

René Smolarski

Die Evangelische Kirche zwischen Mitbestimmung und Selbstbestimmung. Zur Ambivalenz der Evangelischen Kirche in Fragen der Arbeitnehmermitbestimmung von der Nachkriegszeit bis zur Verabschiedung des Mitbestimmungsgesetzes von 1976
(Reihe: Religion in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 8)
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020
ISBN 978-3-16-159887-6
481 pages
99 EUR

Orthodox Christian Identity in Western Europe. Contesting Religious Authority


Routledge has published the revised habilitation thesis of the long-standing staff member and contract teacher of Erfurt's Religious Studies Department, PD Dr. Sebastian Rimestad. The book entitled "Orthodox Christian Identity in Western Europe. Contesting Religious Authority" deals with the presence of Orthodox Christians in Western Europe, where they are confronted with various identity issues as a minority.

These questions will be addressed in four fields of discourse, with a focus on published sources since the First World War. The first field includes the question of whether Orthodox Christians in Western Europe have a diaspora identity or can feel like natives. The issue of conversion is particularly relevant here. Secondly, the author deals with the question of church organisation in Western Europe, where different ideas bite. The third field of discourse is institutional adaptation to the Western European social environment. Here questions of financing, recognition of secular values, and relations between the various nationally connoted churches are dealt with. Finally, the field of discourse of ecumenism – the idea of Christian unity – is also examined, which raises tricky questions for Orthodox Christians in Western Europe.

Sebastian Rimestad
Orthodox Christian Identity in Western Europe. Contesting Religious Authority
London: Routledge, 2020
ISBN 978-0-0367-484187 (Hardcover) // ISBN: 978-1-003-039754 (e-Book)
282 pages
£ 120.00 (Hardcover) // £ 36.99 (e-Book)

New publication: "Verbindung halten (Post)kommunikation unter schwierigen Verhältnissen"


René Smolarski from the University of Erfurt has just published a new volume entitled "Verbindung halten" (Keep in touch) in the „Post – Wert – Zeichen“ (Post - Value - Sign) series. It deals with (post)communication under difficult conditions.

In 1982 the then Federal Minister of Postal Services Kurt Gscheidle stated in a portrait of the Federal Post Office that the postal service was vital, but uninteresting for most people. This statement can also be applied to the historical scholarship's interest in this topic to date. Many analyses of postal history originate primarily from non-university philately. In historical studies, however, philately and postal history are regarded as marginal. This volume looks at the special significance of post(communication) from a historical perspective. For almost all citizens, said Gscheidle, have to deal with the postal service every day. However, people would only perceive the highly complex construct of the postal service if its function, with all its interdependencies, were disturbed.

René Smolarski (Hrsg.)
Verbindung halten
(Post)kommunikation unter schwierigen Verhältnissen
(Reihe „Post – Wert – Zeichen“) // open access)
Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2020
ISBN 978-3-8471-0937-2
513 pages
45 EUR

New publication: "Gut beschaffbare Heilmittel"


Medical care in the city is good - but what do you do on the road? Three books on Euporista attributed to the great physician Galenos in the 2nd century AD list easily obtainable remedies for this. Stones, plants and animals together with their products and excrements are said to help treat diseases from head to toe.

The books handed down in the Corpus Galenicum have been written down over many centuries: While the nature of the diseases remained largely constant, new remedies and methods were noted and new authorities - including saints - were consulted. The books are thus both an important document of the history of medicine and a reflection of the colourful everyday world in antiquity and the Byzantine Middle Ages. Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, has now translated the three books into a modern language for the first time. They are presented bilingually in one volume and are made accessible through an introduction, an appendix and an index.

Kai Brodersen
Gut beschaffbare Heilmittel / Euporista
(Bibliothek der griechischen Literatur, Bd. 91)
Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 2020
ISBN 978-3-7772-2038-3
464 pages
98 EUR

Coping with Change. Orthodox Christian Dynamics between Tradition, Innovation, and Realpolitik


In 2015, the major world congress of the International Association for the History of Religion (IAHR) took place in Erfurt. Numerous contributions were devoted to Orthodox Christianity and the challenges of a modern globalized world for the Orthodox Church(es). PD Dr. habil. Sebastian Rimestad and Prof. Dr. Vasilios N. Makrides from the Seminar of Religious Studies at the University of Erfurt have now published a selection of these contributions in the anthology "Coping with Change. Orthodox Christian Dynamics between Tradition, Innovation, and Realpolitik".

In ten contributions by researchers from around the world, various aspects of contemporary Orthodoxy are highlighted that challenge the traditional image of the Orthodox Church as unchanging. They deal with Orthodox identities in America and Ukraine, participation in (geo)political conflicts in Southeastern Europe, and intra-Orthodox conflicts and disagreements.

Sebastian Rimestad und Vasilios N. Makrides
Coping with Change: Orthodox Christian Dynamics between Tradition, Innovation, and Realpolitik
Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020
ISBN 978-3-631-67146
266 pages
59.95 EUR

New publication: „Mensch Opa, du bist noch so fit!“


Nomos has published a new book in which Paula Stehr, Constanze Rossmann, Johanna Geppert, Hanna Lütke Lanfer and Tabea Kremer from the University of Erfurt focus on the development of an evidence-based communication strategy to promote physical activity among older and very old people in Germany.

Physical activity is an important component of healthy ageing - a topic that is becoming increasingly relevant to society due to demographic change and rising life expectancy. In order to promote physical activity in the long term, awareness of the influence of physical activity on health and interest in exercise among older and very old people must be increased. The book now published creates an evidence-based basis for the design of effective and efficient communication measures. Using a combination of methods including guideline-based interviews and a standardized telephone survey, the decisive behavioral determinants and health information behavior of people aged 65 and older in Germany were identified. On this basis, an evidence-based communication strategy was formulated for older and very old people in Germany as a whole and for particularly vulnerable sub-target groups.

Paula Stehr, Constanze Rossmann, Johanna Geppert, Hanna Lütke Lanfer und Tabea Kremer
"Mensch Opa, du bist noch so fit" Entwicklung einer evidenzbasierten Kommunikationsstrategie zur Förderung körperlicher Aktivität bei älteren und hochaltrigen Menschen in Deutschland
Reihe Gesundheitskommunikation | Health Communication (Band 21)
Nomos, 2020
ISBN 978-3-8487-6561-4
122 pages
26 EUR

How arithmetic came from India to Europe


De Gruyter has published a new book by Kai and Christiane Brodersen. The focus is on Maximos Planudes, a classically educated scholar and teacher of the 13th century, who in his "Calculation book after the Indians" shows in a didactically clever way how to solve even complicated mathematical problems in a simple way.

For this purpose, he uses the "zero" unknown in antiquity and the system of place values that was only made possible by it, which had come to Europe from India via the Arab world. Planudes shows for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and root extraction how this then new form of calculation can be used in everyday life, but also for astronomical questions. More than forty surviving medieval copies bear witness to the success of the work, which was not the very first in which "Indian" arithmetic was presented in Greek, but certainly the most influential book on arithmetic in its time and beyond - we still do arithmetic like this today.

Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, and Christiane Brodersen, secondary school teacher for mathematics, have now translated the work completely into German for the first time and made it available in a bilingual edition.

Kai und Christiane Brodersen
Planudes: Rechenbuch
Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020
ISBN 978-3-11-071192-9
240 pages
39.95 EUR (also available as e-book)

New Publication: "Gustav Landauer - Zwischen Anarchismus und Tradition"


Hentrich & Hentrich, the publishing house for Jewish culture and contemporary history, has published a new publication entitled "Gustav Landauer - Zwischen Anarchismus und Tradition" by Sebastina Kunze, a member of the professorship for Jewish Studies at the University of Erfurt.

Gustav Landauer (1870-1919) is one of the most prominent representatives of the German-speaking anarchism of his time, yet is largely unknown today. As a political thinker, philosopher, intellectual and literary critic, Landauer was active in various groups such as the workers' anarchism or the Forte circle and was widely received. However, his work had a great impact especially within the Jewish youth: Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin, Manés Sperber, Paul Celan and many others read and praised Landauer's writings. This volume sketches Landauer's life and work to provide an insight into the various facets of this fascinating intellectual.

Sebastian Kunze
Gustav Landauer: Zwischen Anarchismus und Tradition
Leipzig: Verlag Hentrich & Hentrich, 2020
ISBN 978-3-95565-385-9
74 pages
8.90 EUR

Culture of Da'wa


Preaching in the modern world is the subject of a new book that Itzchak Weismann and Jamal Malik have just published under the title "Culture of Da'wa".

The book offers an in-depth, broad-based examination of the "da'wa", the "call to Islam" and the "call to God" respectively. As a term that is difficult to translate, "da'wa" covers a semantic field ranging from the call or invitation to Islam, religious preaching and conversion to the mission and message of Islam. The contributions in the new publication analyze the most important discourses of the da'wa, its embodiment in the major Islamic movements of the 20th century and its transformation into new forms of activism by the media, the state and Jihadi groups - including al-Qaeda and ISIS - in the 21st century.

The publishers
Itzchak Weismann is associate professor of Islamic Studies and former director of the Jewish-Arab Center at the University of Haifa. He has published extensively on modern Islamic thought, Islamic movements, Sufism and interreligious dialogue. Jamal Malik holds the professorship for Islamic Studies at the University of Erfurt. He has published extensively on Islamic education and religious pluralism, Sufism and the mobilization of religion.

Itzchak Weismann und Jamal Malik
Culture of Da’wa Islamic Preaching in the Modern World
University of Utah Press, 2020
ISBN 978-1-60781-745-1
325 pages
45.00 $

New publication: "Was also ist unser Lohn? Die Finanzen der nordafrikanischen Kirchen in vorvandalischer Zeit"


Dr. Ansgar Teichgräber, Research Associate at the Chair of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, has published a new book entitled "Was also ist unser Lohn? Die Finanzen der nordafrikanischen Kirchen in vorvandalischer Zeit."

Money and the church. This combination has caused conflicts ever since the emergence of Christianity. The North African churches of the fourth and early fifth centuries were no exception. But finances played an important role in the development of church structures. Especially in the period following Constantine I's toleration and promotion of Christianity, the question arose of how the churches should deal with their growing resources. The various answers to this question can be found in the numerous sources from North Africa, with the help of which a multifaceted picture of the churches there is drawn. Of decisive importance here were the new opportunities that arose from the churches' growing property. Now the churches were no longer solely dependent on the donations of their members, but had their own financial resources. At the same time, however, the churches' expenses grew as church structures became larger and more complex. Therefore, new, differentiated organizational structures had to be created, which in turn had to be legitimized vis-à-vis the congregations. This initiated fundamental developments that could also have an impact beyond North Africa.

Ansgar Teichgräber
Was also ist unser Lohn? Die Finanzen der nordafrikanischen Kirchen in vorvandalischer Zeit.
(Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum, Ergänzungsband. Kleine Reihe 16)
Münster: Aschendorff, 2020
ISBN 978-3-402-10925-0
248 pages
39 EUR

About the "Latin American coverage of the German press"


Springer has published a new book by Dr. Regina Cazzamatta about the Latin American reports in the German press. It examines the structure and conditions under which this reporting is produced and is based on the dissertation that Cazzamatta submitted to the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Erfurt.

Regina Cazzamatta's dissertation project aimed to examine the structure and conditions of origin of Latin American reporting in the German press with regard to a current political order. How is Latin America currently presented in the German press? Is the region still associated with civil war, attempted coups, guerrilla movements, election rigging and debt crises? Has Latin America's image as the "backyard of the USA" been replaced? Is the reporting still concentrated on a few countries or Brazil, Chile and Argentina as Wöhlcke stated in the 1970s? Did the change in the continent's politics and economy have an influence, although not necessarily in terms of quantity, on the reporting? Are the countries within the continent portrayed evenly or are there country characteristics that increase their news factors? Are great heterogeneity, cultural diversity and different geographical, economic, political and social conditions of the countries taken into account in the reporting? Have the news factors for Latin America identified in previous research remained stable? Which factors and characteristics are currently the most common in news coverage?

To answer these questions, Regina Cazzamatta has developed a multi-method design for her work that combines quantitative and qualitative content analysis. The author thus fills a research gap in a topic that is extremely relevant to foreign policy. Her book looks at topics and characteristics of media discourse in a combined form, shows country profiles and seeks theoretical explanations for the image constructions within reporting. With the result that the image of Latin America does not exist in the German press, but rather a perception can be differentiated according to countries and country groups.

Regina Cazzamatta
Lateinamerikaberichterstattung der deutschen Presse Struktur und Entstehungsbedingungen
Wiesbaden: Springer, 2020
ISBN 978-3-658-30783-7
619 pages
64.99 EUR (also available as e-book)

New publication: "Karten–Meere. Eine Welterzeugung."


Oceans overwhelm by their size alone. They produce a flood of almost inexhaustible amounts of data. It is the task of maps to tame this flood. They make it possible to see at a glance what is threatening to dissolve in the abundance of individual observations, to plan and navigate routes, and also create escape routes for fantasies of another life, of idyll, exoticism, and adventure.

new book under the title "Karten-Meere. Eine Welterzeugung" invites the reader to read maps as documents of a world production and presents a series of literary and non-literary texts, which in turn undertake the experiment of reading maps: by making their narratives emerge from maps or continue them where the maps end; by telling of the longings and fantasies that have inscribed themselves on the maps or that can arise from looking at or finger-joining maps; by celebrating the reliability of maps or letting lofty fantasies fail because of unpredictable reefs and icebergs.

The book by Wolfgang Struck, Iris Schröder, Felix Schürmann and Elena Stirtz from the University of Erfurt is part of the joint project „Karten–Meere. Für eine Geschichte der Globalisierung vom Wasser aus“

Wolfgang Struck, Iris Schröder, Felix Schürmann und Elena Stirtz
Karten–Meere. Eine Welterzeugung
Wiesbaden: Corso Verlag, 2020
ISBN 978-3-6-7374-0763-2
192 pages
20 EUR

New publication: "Riskante Substanzen"


Under the title "Riskante Substanzen. Der 'War on Drugs' in den USA (1963-1992)" a new book by Timo Bonengel has been published by Campus Verlag, based on his dissertation at the History Department of the University of Erfurt.

The debate on drug use and how to combat it is booming. Timo Bonengel traces the history of drug policy in the USA, which in the 1980s changed from welfare state strategies to a conservative social policy based on deterrence and punishment. The book shows that the "War on Drugs" was also conducted with the help of scientific experts* and yet discriminated against ethnic minorities and poor people. The study thus raises the problem of demands for a science-based and therefore supposedly fair drug policy.

Timo Bonengel
Riskante Substanzen. Der "War on drugs" in den USA (1963-1992)
Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/New York 2020
ISBN 9783593511726
433 pages
45 EUR