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Research Fields (2008-2014)

The research programme of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions differentiated four interrelated focal points of research on the basis of historiographical as well as systematic reasons in the first period of funding, 2008-2014. These focal points were supported by so called research fields as basic organisational units.

Criteria of Division

Although terminologically related to European historiography the chronological division of the research fields may also be applied to the general Euro-Asiatic history of religions. These divisions are not seen as radical breaks, but as elliptical interlaces according to the concept of epochs introduced by Hans Blumenberg.

The systematic aspect of organisation is orientated towards cultural-geographical states, including discrete regional formation processes and expansive movements of religious traditions, and the deterritorialising effects of globalisation on these traditions.

The Research Fields

  • The processes of formation and densification of the major religious networks of tradition via diachronic and synchronic cultural contacts have been the main subjects of research field 'formation.' It covered the timespan from the first millennium B.C.E. to late antiquity.
  • Research field 'expansion,' which historically ranges from the early Middle Ages to early modern times, has focused on the impact of religious contacts on the institutionalisation, expansion, and diversification of religious networks of tradition, thereby concentrating on spatial aspects in the history of religions.
  • Research field 'notions' has concentrated on the development of the Kollektivsingular 'religion' in early modern times and the development of basic religious notions as tertia comparationis within the comparative study of religion.
  • The new qualities of the religious field in the age of colonialism and globalisation have been analysed within research field 'globalisation'. The dialectics between globalisation and glocalisation and the relationship between religion and politics were of special interest.