Religion, Society, and World Relations

Zeichnung zweier Köpfe im virtuellen Raum

The investigation of self- and transcendental relationships, of the relationship between community and individual and of ritual communication and its meaning, as well as the reflection on social-institutional orders, on processes of social change, on value and meaning concepts, combine the question of "religion", "society" and "world relationship". This mutual interrelation of individual actors, social structures and cross-border horizons gives the research in this focus area its profile. In concrete intra- as well as interdisciplinary projects – the profile is formed here by the association "Attraction, Repulsion, Indifference – A Culture-Comparative Analysis of World Relations" – researchers in this field are dedicated to historical and contemporary phenomena in different cultural and social contexts. All faculties and the Max Weber Kolleg as well as the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy and various junior university colleges such as the Center for Political Practices and Orders and the Theological Research Centre are involved in the projects. There has long been close cooperation between the actors in the current focus area in research and teaching, including joint conferences and workshops, lecture series and publications, and interdisciplinary seminars. The research is characterized by a special interest in the utilization of historical research results for questions of religion, culture and society of the present, whereby current social debates are taken up again and again and intensive scientific communication is carried out.

Projects of the research focus (German only)


How can the pandemic help us to focus on the 'essentials'? Can Corona be a wake-up call? And can the seemingly pointless epidemic be given a meaning after all? In numerous articles, scientists from the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University…

The DFG-funded research group "Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations" (FOR 2779) of the Max-Weber-Kolleg of the University of Erfurt has now gone online with a database on religion and urbanity at the publishing house De Gruyter.

In order to research Muslim hostility in Germany on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and to develop proposals for prevention and combating, Horst Seehofer has now appointed twelve representatives from science and practice to the new…

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…


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