Religion and Politics
Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation
The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics. Dynamics of Tradition and Innovation” at the University of Münster has been investigating the complex relationship between religion and politics across epochs and cultures since 2007. The 140 researchers from 10 countries and more than 20 disciplines in the humanities and social sciences are particularly concerned in the funding phase from 2019 to 2025 with the “dynamics of tradition and innovation”. They analyze in transepochal studies ranging from antiquity to the present day the conditions and factors that make religion an engine of political and social change, with their focus being above all on the paradox that religions often develop their innovative potential precisely by drawing on their traditions. The focus of interest is on Europe and the Mediterranean region, as well as on their entanglements with the Near East, Africa, North and Latin America. The research network is the largest of its kind in Germany; and, of the Clusters of Excellence, one of the oldest and the only one to deal with the issue of religion. It will receive funding of 31 million euros from 2019 to 2025.
The Cluster of Excellence is marked by a high degree of interdisciplinarity and methodological diversity, with more than 20 disciplines from seven departments of the University of Münster being involved: history, law and political science, sociology of religion and religious studies, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Islamic theology, Jewish studies, psychology, classical and modern philology, as well as philosophy, art history, Arabic and Islamic studies, ethnology, Assyriology, archaeology, Egyptology and Byzantine studies. Hardly any other institution of religious research in Germany or abroad has such a broad spectrum of disciplines, methods, religions, epochs and cultures involved. This results in a unique combination of historical and contemporary questions, theoretical and empirical perspectives, normative and descriptive approaches, as well as denominational and non-denominational religious research. The Digital Humanities also play a prominent role in the research work of the Cluster of Excellence.