Research Field 'Expansion'

The second research field of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg was dedicated to constellations of religious contact during the institutionalisation, expansion, and diversification phases of networks of religious traditions, with dialogical and spatial aspects receiving special attention. The research field was divided into three areas of intensified activity. The working group 'translation' had been a fourth area, but it has been transformed into the independent focus group 'transfer & resistance' in 2011.


The editorial project QUID (Sourcebook on Interreligious Dialogue) collected interreligious dialogues from antiquity to early modern times and made them accessible via succinct but informative, encyclopaedic articles. The project started in 2008 and was concluded with the publication of a two volume book in 2014.

Space & Religion: Nodes, Hubs & Translocation

Research on space and religion has a twofold focus. On the one hand the concepts 'nodes' and 'hubs' are under consideration and on the other hand the translocation of holy places and objects is investigated. A result of the research in this vein is the focus on the concept of religious multi-locality.

The function and meaning of hubs of religious transfer (e.g. royal courts) is one of the research problems discussed. The concept 'hub' is used in a rather broad sense, including spatial connotations (places, rooms, buildings), persons, objects, and ideas. Thereby intellectual movements, literary genres and even outstanding works of art can functionally act as hubs.

The analysis of the concept of translocation is the second focal point in this research area. Translocation is a concept denoting expansion, but paradoxically also corresponds with local rootedness. Local stability and spatial dynamics seem to correlate with each other and to further the dissemination of religious traditions and ideas in specific ways.

Diversity & Plurality

The following focus of the research field wason diversity and plurality. Especially mixed religious communities and societies and forms of religious diversity within specified regions were discussed.

Selected Publications