The cluster 'Religion' draws on a variety of disciplines - including history, anthropology and political science - to understand one of the world's most religiously complex regions. The Cluster's main thematic areas of interest are religious minorities and practices of minoritization, comparative secularisms, religion and empire, transregional religious movements, the relations among religions, inequality and forms of democratic practice, and interreligious conflicts and the popular conceptions and governmental interventions to which they give rise. Methodologically, research encompasses accounts of 'lived religion' in everyday life, historical studies of transformation in religious practice and related ideological formations from the late 18th century to the present day, and analyses of religion and politics in contemporary South Asia.

The current focus of this research cluster is the joint effort with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (MPI MMG) to constitute the interdisciplinary International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) "Religious Networks Across and Beyond Asia: New Formations of Social and Political Community." In addition, the "CeMIS-CeMEAS Transregional Research Network" (CeTREN), funded by the Central Ministry of Education and Research and managed by CeMIS, contributes interdisciplinary research in this field.