Third-party Funded Structure

Collaborative Research Centres

Transregio 294 "Structural Change of Property" in cooperation with the University of Jena (DFG)

The Collaborative Research Centre aims to (re)gain a comprehensive socio-theoretical perspective on property and to investigate an assumed structural change of property in the present. The aim is to a) re-explore historical and conceptual foundations of the Western property system, b) empirically investigate current conflicts over private property, and c) analyse alternatives to (private) property.

further information

Research Groups

Religious Individualization in Historical Perspective (DFG)

The collegiate research group wants to investigate individualizations in the medium of religion and their consequences for the change of religion, i.e. in its religion-historical dynamics. In particular, it will investigate the existence and scope of individual scope for religious action, the resulting shaping of religious traditions and religious reflections on individuality before and outside occidental modernity as well as in the phase of modern theory-building.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Susanne Rau

Sound - Language – Writing (Klang – Sprache – Schrift) (TMWWDG)

The interdisciplinary joint project aims to make fundamental cognitive science findings available for practical application in the field of diagnostics and the promotion of language and written language acquisition as well as for the creation of instructional designs. This is done by taking into account perspectives from cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, special education, music education and German didactics.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Claudia Steinbrink

Order through movement (TMWWDG)

Under the title "Order through Movement", an interdisciplinary research center in the field of economics, politics, religion, history and law at the Max-Weber-Kolleg for Cultural and Social Studies is pursuing a research program that comparatively investigates how orders that can be characterized by movement in the sense of a logic of increase ("dynamic stabilization") develop, change and (de)stabilize.

Contact person: Dr. Urs Lindner

Lived Ancient Religion - Questioning "Cults" and "Polis Religion" (European Research Council)

„Lived Ancient Religion" existed from 2012 to 2017 at the Max-Weber-Kolleg of the University of Erfurt and was funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The project, in which many different doctoral and post-doctoral students as well as scientists from all over the world have researched and published over the years, focused primarily on the individuals and their way of life that influenced religion in the ancient Mediterranean region.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke

Protestantism in the Ethical Debates of the Federal Republic of Germany (DFG)

Social Protestantism in the Federal Republic of Germany has developed a new profile since the 1960s. At the same time, and in interaction with it, there have been fundamental changes in German society in terms of living environments, values and culture. In dealing with the economic and social challenges and in view of the increasing scientific character of the relevant debates, Protestantism adopted central dispositions of thought, some of which went back to the Weimar period, and realigned itself in terms of content and organisation. The Leitperspektive explores the weight of social Protestantism in the debates on the social order of the Federal Republic of Germany and examines the communication channels through which Protestant voices influenced the process of social self-assurance.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Christiane Kuller

What is west by west? [TMWWDG]

The project focuses on spatio-temporal practices of the production and representation of westernity. With the question of what is Western in the West, it thus addresses a highly political and socially relevant issue. Despite numerous attempts to explain the "West" or the "Western" or to present it as overcome, the unreflective handling of the associated figures of thought is (still) enormously effective.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Holt Meyer


Voluntariness (DFG)

In the project, the researchers take a look at the concept of voluntariness from a historical, sociological and philosophical perspective. The central question is how Western pre-modern and modern, but also non-European societies govern their members through the principle of voluntariness. This includes religiously motivated voluntarism in medieval martyrdom as well as voluntary "participation" in dictatorships. In the end, it should be possible to define voluntariness as a core aspect of governmental governance more precisely than before.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Martschukat

Cinema in the GDR - Reception History from 'Below' (Thüringer Aufbaubank)

The focus of the citizen science project "Cinema in the GDR - Reception History from 'Below'" is on the experiences and stories of cinema visitors in the GDR. Based on eyewitness accounts, descriptions and surviving documents, an everyday history of GDR cinema is to be compiled in cooperation with researchers from the University of Erfurt.

To the project website(German only)

Research Networks

Research building: "Attraction, Repulsion, Indifference - a Culture-Comparative Analysis of World Relations" (BMBF/TMWWDG)

The research building is intended to enable the implementation of a long-term research program on the topic of "Attraction, Repulsion, Indifference - a Cultural Comparative Analysis of World Relations". This research program follows on from the interdisciplinary, historically comparative cultural and social science research of the Max Weber College.

Contact: PD Dr. Bettina Hollstein

Dictatorship Experience and Transformation: Biographical Processing and Social Representations in East Germany since the 1970s (BMBF)

The starting point of the project is the assumption that not only individual and collective experiences during the GDR itself, but also the deep biographical upheavals of the post-reunification period shape the memory of the GDR. In the following decade, the political debates of 1989/90 gave rise to a conflict of memory that continues to have an impact today. This determines the time frame of the project, which takes a look at the last two decades of the GDR and the two following decades of transformation together and deliberately transcends the historical caesura of 1989/90, and the two leading research questions.

1) What concrete experiences of the late GDR and the transformation period feed current memories, how are they articulated and passed on?

2) How do these memories relate to the diverse public representations of the GDR, and how do the latter support or prevent differentiated forms of historical judgement?

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Christiane Kuller

An interdisciplinary approach to explain and overcome vaccine fatigue (DFG)

Preventive and curative health decisions are often conceptualized as individual cost-benefit considerations. Some health decisions, however, also have consequences for other people. However, these positive or negative effects on third parties (externalities) are neglected in the classical view as mechanisms and potential incentives in health decisions. Vaccinations, for example, often have positive externalities because they help to protect unvaccinated persons by reducing the transmission of diseases. Antibiotic use, on the other hand, is an example of negative externalities, because excessive and improper use leads to resistance and uninvolved third parties can be harmed when antibiotics are no longer effective. Health decisions thus become social interactions when the decisions of several individuals and their health consequences influence each other and individual interests have to be weighed against collective interests.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch

Nutrition, Health and Social Order: Germany and the USA (Volkswagen Foundation)

The research project aims to work out the significance of nutrition and health for the order of modern societies from the 19th century to the present. The empirical focus is on the USA and Germany, so that regional differences as well as the dynamics of interdependence in globalizing constellations become apparent.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Martschukat

Vaccination60+: Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and sepsis prevention (IMPFEN 60+) (BMBF)

The Vaccination 60+ (IMPFEN60+) project focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of an intervention to increase vaccination rates against influenza and pneumococcus in the target group of Thuringian citizens aged 60 and over. The joint project follows a trans-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach.

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch

International Centre of Advanced Studies "Metamorphoses of the Political" (BMBF)

The project 'M. S. Merian - R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies' (ICAS:MP) in New Delhi is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research since 2015. In summer 2018 the project was successfully transferred into the main phase. The theme of the Centre is the Metamorphoses of the Political in the Long Twentieth Century.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Martin Fuchs

Maps - Seas. For a History of Globalization from the Water (BMBF)

The research network is based on the assumption that sea-related maps were a prerequisite for the surge in global interdependence that began in the mid-19th century in two respects: On the one hand, nautical charts, in their function as navigational instruments as well as a medium for research and surveying, made the formation of new links across the oceans possible. On the other hand, sea charts as media of representation and production of global connections have contributed decisively to the development and popularization of the idea of globality in the sense of an ubiquitously networked space of possibilities.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Iris Schröder

Qualiteach (BMBF)

The University of Erfurt continues to develop the educational quality of teacher training under the key concepts of identity, immersion and inclusion. Four development areas identified as fundamental challenges are being worked on in a targeted and sustainable manner: anchoring inclusion as a cross-cutting task, promoting professional teacher competence through interdisciplinary teaching-learning arrangements, designing learning opportunities in the mode of research-based learning, and early, profession-related advice and support for students.

Contact person: Dr. Sigrid Heinecke

Research Center Dynamics of Ritual Practices (BMBF)

The Research Center is intended to provide a place for research into Jewish religious practices and related discourses, which arose in Germany in the 19th century but was largely interrupted by the National Socialist expulsion and extermination of Jews, and which embeds central questions of recent research in an interdisciplinary research context. The aim is to provide new impulses for a comparative as well as intertwined historical approach by consistently asking about religious, intellectual and cultural pluralistic contexts and interactions.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Benedikt Kranemann

Research Training Groups

International Research Training Group: Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices (DFG/FWF)

The International Research Training Group "Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices" is a cooperation between the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt and the Karl Franzens University in Graz.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke

MWK-FELLOWS COFUND International Fellowship Programme (European Union)

The MWK-FELLOWS COFUND is an international fellowship programme for experienced researchers who conduct interdisciplinary research in cultural and social sciences. The programme is co-financed by the European Union.

Contact: PD Dr. Bettina Hollstein

Research Cooperations/Networks

Forum for the Study of the Global Condition