Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology

After the transfer of the History of Religions from the Faculty of Philosophy to the Faculty of Theology in 1962, Carsten Colpe held the first chair there. He already had a close relationship with the Faculty of Philosophy, of which Colpe was appointed a member in 1964. Gernot Wießner had held the professorship since 1971; in addition to general religious history, he specialized in the religious history of late antiquity and the Near East. Mr. Wießner died in 1999 and in the winter semester 2001/02 the professorship was filled by Andreas Grünschloß and renamed from "General History of Religions" to "Religious Studies". In addition to the Faculty of Humanities, there is a close connection to the Faculty of Social Sciences. Since the summer semester 2024, the chair with the new title "Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology" has been filled by Julian Strube.

Religious Studies is represented in all its breadth in research and teaching. Publications cover both the systematic study of religion and the history of religion. The focus is on the global history of religion and cultural exchange between Asia (especially India), Europe and North America. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between religion and politics in the past and present, for example with regard to nationalism, colonialism and the spectrum from socialism to right-wing extremism. Thematically, this includes Hinduism, Islam, esotericism and alternative religiosity.

In addition to the seminar library, students also have access to the libraries of the related seminars of the Faculties of Theology and Philosophy.

Religious Studies

In the standard courses offered by Theological Faculty, such as Theology (also at degree level) and Religious Education, Religious Studies can be studied as an optional extra in Theology as an elective for exams. Knowledge of non-Christian religions is a requirement in all of these courses and attendance at religious history events is essential.

Thematically, courses cover the extensive area of Religious Studies with teaching not only on religious history but also on systematic subjects.