NEWS FROM THE NETWORK

Research News for Münster

September 22, 2021

Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:

 

Kiss of Judas, regicide, whistleblowing: traitors make history

Whether regicide, whistleblowing or “traitor to the people” cries from so-called lateral thinkers – according to historians, treason has shaped political fortunes since antiquity. “High treason is considered the ultimate political crime in all epochs and states, and is punished draconically”, says historian André Johannes Krischer in the run-up to an international conference on the history of treason at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Read the full article here.

 

Questions of religious policy for the 2021 Bundestag election on the radio station Deutschlandfunk

Scholars from the Cluster of Excellence have talked about questions of religious policy in the upcoming Bundestag elections in a three-part series of the programme “Tag für Tag” (Day by Day) on the radio station Deutschlandfunk (in German). The political scientist Ulrich Willems took a look at church lobbying, the Catholic theologian Judith Könemann dealt with the question “Does politics still need religion?”, and sociologist Marc Helbling, current Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the Cluster, discussed religious policy as integration policy.

Read the full article here.

 

TED-talk on “Campus of Religions”

At the TEDx-talk in Münster, the Islamic theologian Mouhanad Khorchide and the Catholic theologian Johannes Schnocks, both from the Cluster of Excellence, have spoken about the Campus of Religions in Münster. In their talk, they discussed the importance of the campus for interreligious dialogue. From 2023, it will bring together the various theologies and institutions of non-denominational religious research at the University of Münster, and become a place of exchange for representatives from academia, politics, religious and non-religious communities, and non-governmental organizations, as well as from the media, culture, and the arts.

Read the full article here.

 

Research at the European Academy on “Religion and Change”

The “European Academy of Religion” (EuARe) is coming to Germany for the first time with its annual conference at the end of August. Under the title “Religion and Change”, the conference will see 900 international scholars involved in interdisciplinary research on religion come to the University of Münster. As a founding member of the Academy, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” will host 15 of the 160 panels with themes from its current research programme.

Read the full article here.

 

Fake news long before Trump

According to researchers from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, fake news existed long before Donald Trump and social media. Whether courtly plots or conspiracy theories in the face of the plague: uncertainty about the truth of news is not a new phenomenon. “The negotiation of true and false information has always been able to develop its own dynamics in times of crisis. This also applies to the Middle Ages, although communication in this period required a much stronger corporeal presence”, explain the Romance scholar Pia Claudia Doering and the historian Marcel Bubert from the Cluster of Excellence. “Contrary to what we think today, the spreading of fake news and the assessment of the truth of news are not necessarily linked to mass media”.

Read the full article here.

 

New Dossier Chapter: God's will/God's succour? Religious interpretations of epidemics

Writing in Christ & Welt in February 2021, Peter Frey, editor-in-chief of the German television channel ZDF, criticized the churches for having gone underground during Corona, saying that, while it is true that the church is no longer portraying the pandemic as God’s punishment (as it used to do), it has not embraced a new creativity during the crisis. For Frey, there has been no spiritual depth to the pandemic and its consequences. In contrast, the Münster sociologist of religion Detlef Pollack said in an interview in March 2021, also in Christ & Welt, that it was right for the churches largely to refrain from interpreting the meaning of the pandemic, saying that the time when religion was responsible for solving all problems is long gone. For Pollack, many people probably do not interpret the crisis in religious terms, but rather perceive it as a medical and political problem only. The contributions in this dossier trace religious interpretations of epidemics, as they can be read in textual testimonies and images from past (and more devout centuries), but also turn their gaze to present-day Africa, for example.

Read the full article here.

 

Podcast series “Belonging or Excluded? 1,700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany“

In the podcast series "Belonging or Excluded?", researchers from the Cluster of Excellence and the Institute for Jewish Studies of Münster University such as Prof. Dr. Regina Grundmann and Prof. Dr. Katrin Kogman-Appel report on the everyday life, religious life and history of persecution of Jews from antiquity to the present (in German language). The series is part of the nationwide festival year "1,700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany".
Read the full article here.

 

Episodes

 

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Research news from Münster

June 21, 2021

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Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:

 

International survey on identity conflicts in Europe

International survey by Cluster of Excellence reveals division of European societies into two entrenched camps of substantial size – In Germany, one third hold opposing positions on national belonging, threat, disadvantage – “Politics should not take one side: positions should be traced back to their respective functional core, compromises sought, polarization stopped” – Most comprehensive survey on identity conflicts in Europe to date.

Read the full article here.

 

Sociologist Marc Helbling new Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor

During stay at Cluster of Excellence, Helbling to work on Islamophobia and right-wing extremism – Lecture on 8 June on Islamophobia in Western Europe

Read the full article here.

 

Hass (hate) comes from hetzen (to hound): the history of an emotion

Literary scholar sees escalation of language in public discussion over last ten years – research project on politicizations and instrumentalizations in past and present literature – history of language shows connection between Hass (hate) and hetzen (to hound) – Episode 6 of the Cluster of Excellence’s research podcast “Religion and Politics”

Read the full article here.

 

“Remembering is an integral part of Jewish life”

Cluster of Excellence’s new research podcast “Belonging or Excluded?” sheds light on 1,700 years of Jewish life – Researchers from Jewish Studies, History and Theology use pictures, manuscripts and photos to report on the everyday and religious life of Jews, as well as on their exclusion and persecution – Podcast as part of the year of celebration “2021: Jewish Life in Germany"

Read the full article here.

 

“It’s not enough to dismiss conspiracy theorists as ‘crackpots’”

International study by psychologists and political scientists explores the spread, causes and effects of conspiracy theories in Germany, Poland, Jordan – Belief in conspiracies more common in societies shaped by higher religiosity – Also more common in countries that have actually experienced conspiracies – Scepticism towards minorities and institutions is ubiquitous – Episode 7 of “Religion and Politics” research podcast

Read the full article here.

 

Fashion victims on board Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools

Moral satire about human foolishness still encourages self-knowledge 500 years after the author’s death – woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer allow us to see parallels to the graphic novel – also deals with hostility to science at a time when printing was invented – episode 5 of the Cluster of Excellence’s research podcast “Religion and Politics”

Read the full article here.

Research news from Münster

May 12, 2021

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Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:

 

Protestant parliamentarians not predominantly left-wing

According to researchers, a long-term perspective shows that Protestant parliamentarians cover the entire political spectrum and are by no means predominantly left-wing. “The cliché of the bearded clergyman at anti-nuclear demonstrations, for example, is in need of revision. Although party affiliation has moved a little towards a more social-democratic and green outlook during the past 170 years, it would be going too far to speak of a red-green turn in the spirit of 1968”, explain social ethicist Arnulf von Scheliha and theologian Uta Elisabeth Hohmann, who are researching the parliamentary activities of Protestant theologians from the 19th century to the present day.

Read the full article here.

 

Cluster of Excellence’s new research podcast “Belonging or Excluded?” sheds light on 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany

According to Jewish scholars, remembering one’s own history, as is the case in the nationwide year of celebration “1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany”, has always been an integral part of Jewish life. “Jewish culture has always had a close relationship with its own history, and not only since the Shoah, and is strongly defined by its collective memory”, say Jewish scholars Regina Grundmann and Katrin Kogman-Appel from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”. They were speaking at the start of the Cluster podcast series “Belonging or Excluded? 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany”.

Read the full article here.

 

“A database for the future” - Religious scholar Perry Schmidt-Leukel on the late Swiss theologian Hans Küng

Not only a critic of the pope and the church: the religious scholar and theologian Perry Schmidt-Leukel pays tribute in an article to the work of the well-known Swiss theologian Hans Küng to mark his death on 6 April. Küng was concerned above all with “what is actually still credible about the Christian faith today”. He also created “foundations for dialogue between the world’s religions that are far from being exhausted today”.

Read the full article here.

 

“Not only at Easter: all religions are concerned with life after death”

According to scholars, ideas of life after death, as Christians celebrate at Easter in their belief in the resurrection, shape many religions. “Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists have also developed diverse concepts of the afterlife – as an answer to the great human question: Is there something after death? And, if so, what?”, says the religious studies scholar and theologian Perry Schmidt-Leukel from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Read the full article here.

 

Research project on radicalisation among Muslims acquired

As part of its funding line “Social Causes and Effects of Radical Islam in Germany and Europe”, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has awarded €1.46 million to Mouhanad Khorchide (Islamic Religious Education), Detlef Pollack and Olaf Müller (Sociology of Religion), and Levent Tezcan (Social Science Research on Islam in 20th- and 21st-century Europe) to pursue their research project “Resentment as the affective foundations of radicalization”.

Read the full article here.

 

“Mount Olympus: populated by gods, but devoid of humans”

On Mount Olympus: according to Greek mythology, the celebrated mountain massif was populated by gods; according to archaeologists, though, it was in real life almost entirely devoid of humans for thousands of years. “The highest mountain in the country has thus been from antiquity to the present day a site for the projection of an unusually large number of human imaginings and appropriations – religious, political, pop-cultural”, says archaeologist Achim Lichtenberger from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Read the full article here.

 

First episode of the “Religion and Politics” podcast – survey on corona and social cohesion

Despite the Corona pandemic and restrictions on contact, people in Germany are continuing to show solidarity and togetherness, according to a survey by the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”. In the non-representative online survey from July 2020 to January 2021, 63% of the good 2,300 respondents say that they show more solidarity and helpfulness in their everyday lives during the pandemic. Also, 45% feel more (and only 17% less) connected to their fellow human beings despite the restrictions on physical contact, as political scientist Carolin Hillenbrand from the Cluster of Excellence explains in the new Cluster podcast “Religion and Politics” (in German).

Read the full article here.

Research news from Münster

February 12, 2021

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Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:

 

Society doesn’t really care about people like me

People who perceive their own social group as disadvantaged are more dissatisfied with democracy than others, tend to see migrants as a threat, and are more likely to vote for the AfD. These are the findings of a study from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster.

Read the full article here.

 

Jan Assmann: „Internet unsuitable as a means to store cultural memory“

According to cultural scientist Jan Assmann, the Internet fails to fulfil important functions in the cultural memory of societies. “First of all, it is not suitable as a means to store cultural memory because it is unreliable”, says the Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Read the full article here.

 

Jan Assmann: „Nationalisms and religion fuse in authoritarian regimes“

Nationalism and religion are increasingly uniting in authoritarian states around the world, according to renowned cultural scientist and Blumenberg professor Jan Assmann. “Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey, Modi’s India, Netanyahu’s Israel, Duda’s Poland, Orban’s Hungary, and even Trump’s USA are examples of this tendency in anti-democratic, authoritarian regimes”, said Assmann at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” on Tuesday evening.

Read the full article here.

 

New network for African research related to religion

An international network for African research related to religion at the Cluster of Excellence will start next week with a conference on Islam as a source of political mobilization in Mali. Anthropologist Dorothea Schulz and Souleymane Diallo from the Institute of Anthropology at the University of Münster have invited researchers from Africa, Europe, and the USA to look at the influence of Muslim actors on the legitimization of political rule in Mali.

Read the full article here.

 

New newsletter published

The latest newsletter of the Cluster of Excellence has been published. It informs about the annual theme and about research results, personalities and publications.

Read the full article here.

 

Jan Assmann is the new Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor

The cultural scientist and Egyptologist Jan Assmann is the new Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, where he will focus on the effects of digitalization on his concept of cultural memory and on the relationship between religion and culture from Ancient Egypt to early forms of Judaism, and to Christianity in the modern era.

Read the full article here.

 

Germany and the Idea of Belonging in Colonialism and Human Rights Activism

This lecture by historian Lora Wildenthal from Rice University traces themes of belonging, gender, and rights in two arenas of German interaction with the world: colonialism and human rights activism. Debates among Germans in the era of Germany’s colonial empire about how to classify people in terms of “race” rested on ideas of gender. These are briefly compared to racial classification ideas in the French colonial case.

Read the full article here.

Research news from Münster

December 7, 2020

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Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:

 

“Corona pandemic is obviously influencing religiosity” | Initial results of a survey by the Cluster of Excellence on corona and faith

Initial results of a survey conducted by the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster on the link between the corona pandemic and religiosity are now available. They show that the COVID 19 crisis is having an impact on people’s faith, explains political scientist Carolin Hillenbrand of the Cluster of Excellence.

Read the full article here.

 

Corona pandemic: wide-ranging research in the humanities and social sciences on epidemics

Since the beginnings of the corona pandemic, members of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” have conducted wide-ranging research in the humanities and social sciences on epidemics in the past and present.

Read the full article here.

 

“We are seeing serious conflicts across the world over belonging and demarcation”

First thematic year of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” sheds light on the social challenges of “belonging and demarcation” – science and politics discuss dynamics and tensions between political, cultural, and religious groups – case studies from antiquity to the present – public annual programme 2020/21 comprises a wide range of event and media formats.

Read the full article here.

“Repercussions of colonial pasts still causing problems for populations today”
An interdisciplinary lecture series organized by the Cluster of Excellence examines the influence of imperial legacies on social, cultural and religious affiliations – examples ranging from the Jews in Ancient Rome, to the multi-confessional Fatimid dynasty in the Middle Ages, and to West Africans soldiers employed in the French army – with lectures by Herfried Münkler, Brigitte Reinwald, Lora Wildenthal, Wolfgang Reinhard – as a prelude to the first thematic year “Belonging and Demarcation”.

Read the full article here.

 

New research projects expand the range of themes at the Cluster of Excellence
The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is expanding its research programme with five projects from the fields of the sociology of religion and political science, as well as from classical studies and history. The new projects deal with themes ranging from “Religious conservatism and the support for right-wing populist parties” and “Localism and religion in ancient Greece”, to “Divination and politics in the early-modern period” and “Ephesus and its cult spaces: projections of political and religious practice”, to “Cross-organizational and cross-national differences in religious accommodation”.

Read the full article here.

 

International comparison of religious diversity | NRW graduate school on the regulation of religious diversity enters its second funding phase

The NRW graduate school “Religious Plurality” at the universities of Münster and Bochum is to be extended and will in future examine regional religious diversity in comparison with different countries. This was announced by the University of Münster’s Centre for Religion and Modernity (CRM) and the University of Bochum’s Centre for Religious Studies (CERES) on Tuesday.

Read the full article here.

Research news from Münster

October 26, 2020

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Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:

 

(In)visibility. Or: visualizing and perceiving an invisible threat

In the new chapter "(In)visibility", the dossier “Epidemics. Perspectives from cultural studies” is devoted to the question of how the invisible virus, the invisibility of epidemics, has been made visible, graspable, tangible, and legible over the centuries, and how the perception of the invisible threat has influenced societies.

Read the full article here.

Important pioneer of European business ethics

The Latin work of an important pioneer of modern business ethics, the Dutch legal scholar and moral theologian Leonardus Lessius (1554-1623), is being made available in German for the first time. The dutch legal scholar and moral theologian Leonardus Lessius developed innovative legal and ethical principles, comments the publisher, legal historian Prof. Dr. Nils Jansen from the Cluster of Excellence. The first of ten volumes will be published by frommann-Holzboog Verlag next week.

​Read the full article here.

International comparison of religious diversity

The NRW graduate school “Religious Plurality” at the universities of Münster and Bochum is to be extended and will in future examine regional religious diversity in comparison with different countries. This was announced by the University of Münster’s Centre for Religion and Modernity (CRM) and the University of Bochum’s Centre for Religious Studies (CERES) on Tuesday.

Read the press release in full here.

Research news from Münster. Religion and conspiracy theories in the time of corona epidemic

September 21, 2020

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Hardly had people in Germany realized that their lives would be fundamentally changed by the corona crisis than virologists and epidemiologists were on hand to inform us about the new situation and its challenges. Conspiracy theories also sprang up, offering comprehensive explanations for the crisis, providing deeper insights into the connections that lay below the surface, and revealing the true causes of the crisis to the uninitiated. The dossier „Religion and conspiracy theories in the time of the corona epidemic“ explores the connection and difference between religion and conspiracy theories in the time of the pandemic.

The dossier is available at this link: https://www.uni-muenster.de/Religion-und-Politik/en/aktuelles/schwerpunkte/epidemien/Epidemien_Religionen_und_Verschwoerungstheorien.html

Research news from Münster

July 29, 2020

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Find out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster:

 

Already 300 years ago: Epidemics and conspiracy theories

According to historians, conspiracy theorists who do not believe in the pandemic already existed exactly 300 years ago.

Read the full article here.

 

Dossier „Hagia Sophia – religious buildings and the history of their conversion“

From a historical perspective, the conversion of religiously and politically charged buildings such as Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is no new phenomenon, branching back to antiquity. A multitude of such cases can be found in all epochs, religions and regions, as the dossier "Hagia Sophia – religious buildings and the history of their conversion" shows. In a further, the dossier traces the eventful history of Hagia Sophia with its interior and exterior changes from the 6th to the 21st centuries.

​Read the full article here.

Annual reports

July 9, 2020

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Online meeting of the network of European Centers on Religion and Politics

June 15, 2020

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The network of European Centers on Religion and Politics will virtually meet on Tuesday, June 23 to discuss future developments in common activities and communication strategies.

The meeting is scheduled for June 23, 2020, at 1 pm (EST):

https://bham-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/99507551449?pwd=U1ZZRFVlZkpVQ2p3WWRqQ0pGUExyUT09

Meeting ID and password have been sent to all members.

COVID-19 and Religion: Between Nationalism and Communal Responsibility

June 8, 2020

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Newsletter of the Cluster of Excellence. May issue

May 29, 2020

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The May issue of the newsletter of the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" is out.

Prof. Dr. Nils Jansen (Speaker of the Cluster of Excellence), Dr. Iris Fleßenkämper (Managing Director of the Cluster of Excellence) and Viola van Melis (Head of Research Communication) inform us about new working groups, the latest research news from the Cluster and recent publications.

The newsletter is available in German as well as in English.

Research news from Münster

May 6, 2020

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Check out the latest research news from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster: 

First training programme in “Religious Journalism”

The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster and the ifp Catholic School of Journalism in Munich will be offering from autumn 2020 the first in-service training programme in Germany in “Religious Journalism”. The programme is designed to qualify media professionals to report on religions in pluralized societies in a nuanced and critical manner.

 

“Politics and courts need moral compass from us”

In the corona crisis, legal scholar Nils Jansen warns against leaving politics, courts and science to shape our basic normative orientation – medical ethics, rent and travel reimbursement: legal situation is often not as clear-cut as many may believe – “We need a set of common rules and beliefs outside legal norms”

 

“A leading Arabic poet, who was long virtually unknown”

Researchers associated with the Arabic scholar Thomas Bauer are starting a long-term project to produce a digital edition of the complete literary works of Ibn Nubatah – “Heyday of Arabic literature discovered”

 

“Towards a pluralistic religious pedagogy”

Jewish, Christian and Islamic theologians and experts in religious pedagogy call for a new way of thinking in religious education – “Embed religious diversity in schools theologically – No exclusivist attitudes”

 

How religion is transmitted in families

International survey in Europe and Canada: sociologists of religion at the University of Münster in Germany investigate how beliefs and values are transmitted to future generations – No precise explanations provided yet for the decline in religiosity in Western societies.

Belief. An essay by Jocelyne Cesari

February 6, 2020

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The Immanent Frame publishes interdisciplinary perspectives on religion, secularism, and the public sphere. Founded in October 2007 in conjunction with the Social Science Research Council’s program on Religion and the Public SphereThe Immanent Frame features invited contributions and original essays and serves as a forum for ongoing exchanges among leading thinkers from the social sciences and humanities.

We are pleased to share the link to one of the latest contributions: an essay on Belief, by Professor Jocelyne Cesarihttps://tif.ssrc.org/2020/01/31/belief-cesari/.