Religious Toleration in the Modern World: Theory and Practice

This research theme will be conducted in close cooperation with the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. Both Wolfenbüttel and Göttingen have played remarkable roles in Europe’s cultural and intellectual life. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, indeed up to the mid-18th century, the Dukes of Wolfenbüttel, with the help of famous librarians such as Leibniz and Lessing, built up astounding collections with a significant European, if not global reach. The library is one of the hallmarks of the study of European culture of the late Renaissance, Reformation and early Enlightenment. At this point it connects directly with Göttingen university, founded by the Anglo-Hanoverian dynasty in 1737.
For the period January 2014 to July 2015 the research theme will centre around questions of „Religious Toleration in the Modern World: Theory and Practice”, which is immediately associated with Wolfenbüttel and Göttingen and of course with Lessing, Wolfenbüttel’s famous librarian. The theme is distinctly popular and interdisciplinary, inviting to bring together scholars from fields such as religious studies, literature, philosophy and political theory; given current controversies over issues of toleration, ‘the politics of recognition’ and the problems and promises of multicultural societies, its cultural, and political relevance is hard to underestimate.
The study of religion in its historical as well as contemporary dimensions will also be a central topic at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg in 2015-2017. The special focus is still under review. Applicants for the Mellon Foundation/Volkswagenstiftung Fellowships are kindly asked to send their inquiries to lichtenbergkolleg@zvw.uni-goettingen.de.


Fellows 2014-2015:

Dr. Meelis Friedenthal
Dr. Mark Hutchinson
Dr. Haim Mahlev
Dr. Ioana Manea




Associated Fellows:

Prof. Dr. Martin van Gelderen
Prof. Dr. Thomas Kaufmann