The Academic Goal
The research programme focuses on the formation and expansion of religions, the mutual permeation of religious traditions and their densifications into the complex figurations called 'world religions.' Regionally, the research covers these phenomena in Europe and Asia. The academic goal is to establish and test a typology of contacts of religions and an overarching theory regarding the transfer of religions.
Advanced Studies in Bochum
The Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe commenced its research activities under the direction of Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech in April 2008. In addition to the visiting research fellows, numerous local scholars from Ruhr-Universität Bochum are involved in the institute's research programme, which brings together scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines: religious studies, Classics, Protestant and Catholic theologies, Islamic studies, Japanese studies, Korean studies, Sinology, Indology, Jewish studies, history, and philosophy.
The Funding Measure
In 2007, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research launched the initiative 'Freedom for Research in the Humanities.' Concomitantly the Käte Hamburger Institutes for research in the humanities were introduced as an innovative funding measure. Their goal is to effectively establish core research areas in the humanities at German universities enabling them to compete internationally and also to promote world-wide collaborations with universities and other research facilities. This is achieved by combining the benefits of individual and cooperative research through a fellowship programme. Every year internationally renowned scholars from the humanities are invited to conduct research at the Käte Hamburger institutes for a prolonged period as visiting research fellows. During their residence these scholars are freed from administrative and teaching obligations, giving them the opportunity to concentrate on their individual research and the scientific exchange with their fellow scholars present at the respective institute.
Fundamental results of the research conducted at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg are published in the academic series Dynamics in the History of Religions with Brill and the online journal Entangled Religions is edited at Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
The Käte Hamburger Kolleg resides in the CERES building together with other research projects and the teaching unit. The building is two be found on the half way between Bochum's Central Station and the Ruhr-Universität. All offices for Visiting Research Fellows, as well as for the director and the administration are situated in this building, which also got its own special nick name: the Palais. Furthermore venues for workshops and conferences can be found here.