Rüpke is being honoured as one of the world's leading experts on the history of ancient Roman religion, as well as for his services in cooperation with the University of Graz, especially as one of the initiators and idea providers of the International Graduate School "Resonant Self-World Relations in Socio-Religious Practices in Antiquity and the Present".
But honorary doctorates are not only an honour, they also entail an obligation. Following the custom of the University of Graz, "honorary doctorates vow to keep an honourable memory of the University of Graz and to support its concerns, furthermore to keep the honour conferred upon them unharmed and without reproach, and finally to apply their erudition, knowledge and wisdom - according to their humanity - for the salvation and welfare of mankind and never to stray from this task."
This reminder of the task of the sciences in society has always been taken particularly seriously by the Max-Weber-Kolleg. Hartmut Rosa, Director of the Max-Weber-Kolleg: "We are pleased with Jörg Rüpke about this outstanding award for his scientific oeuvre as well as for his tireless commitment in the sense of promoting young researchers and transferring scientific knowledge to society."