In his account of recent developments in Sinjar, northern Iraq, Benjamin Raßbach analyses the (re-)construction of sacral architecture after the defeat of ISIS in the region with regard to the varying conceptions of religious, ethnic, and political identity of the involved groups and their agendas.more
Opening on 15 June, Islamkolleg, a university training site for Imams, is the first academic institution in Germany to offer such training. Our associate researcher Lena Dreier reflects on the effects the establishment of an academic Imam training in Germany has in different areas of tension: Between various Islamic theological branches, between political and religious claims, between co-operation and religious autonomy and within various European models of training Imams and new Islamic knowledge.
The workshop “Realising Understanding: Language in Cross-cultural Migration/Integration and Secular-Religious Contexts” took place online, on 18 February 2021. It was co-organised by Housamedden Darwish and Jan-Christoph Heilinger, and was generously funded and supported by Academics in Solidarity.more
On 7 March, 51.4% of the Swiss population voted in favour of an article prohibiting the covering of one’s face in public. Reinhard Schulze, director of the Forum Islam and Middle East (FINO) at the University of Berne, discusses the political preconditions and implications of this result and locates them within an unresolved conflict between secularism and laïcism.
The considerable national differences in infection figures and mortality rates in connection with Covid-19 raise questions about the causes for national successes or failures in the fight against the virus. Our director Christoph Kleine critically engages with explanations that stress cultural preconditions as causal factors. more
On 16-17 January 2021 the University of Erfurt hosts the digital conference From Universalism to Ethnopathos – Religious Knowledge in the Colonial Encounter between India and Germany organised by Isabella Schwaderer. Among the participants of the two day event are a number of former and current members and associates of the KFG "Multiple Secularities".more
In her commentary on the the Charlie Hebdo trials and the recent Islamist murders in France, our Senior Researcher Yasemin Ural argues that there is also a growing affectivity cultivated on the side of the republican laic authorities that bares dangers of stigmatising and racialising ‘the Muslim’ as an essential other. Without refuting the affective dimensions of Islamic radicalisation in France, she attempts to concentrate on the affectivity of the republic that feeds into a rhetoric of war and polarisation while redefining the contours of its founding principle of laïcité.more
On 8 and 9 October 2020, our Centre hosted a hybrid Workshop on “Differentiation Theory and the Sociology of Religion and Secularity”, organised by our directors Christoph Kleine and Monika Wohlrab-Sahr together with Daniel Witte from the University of Bonn. more
Pope Francis’ remarks about homosexuality in the recently released documentary "Francesco" have been interpreted as groundbreaking by some commentators. Church historian Klaus Fitschen is much less euphorical, he emphasises the continuity of the latest statements with the Catholic Church’s general position on matters of family and sexual identity. more
Based on an error of jurisdiction, the Turkish Higher Administrative Court on 10 July 2020 annulled a decision by the Turkish Ministerial Council from 1934, which had secularised the Hagia Sophia mosque, as a consequence of which it was reopened as a museum in 1935. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan followed up swiftly, tweeting that the mosque would immediately be handed over to the Presidium for Religious Affairs, in Turkey responsible for mosques and religious services. Markus Dreßler analyses this development as instrument of an inwardly directed nationalism, whose unifying force Erdoğan needs to maintain power, and as a demonstration of Turkey's strength as major force in the region.
For some years now, even die-hard proponents of the secularisation theory should have realised that religion is still (or even more than ever) a multifaceted powerful factor in global modernity. The global dynamics that are set in motion by the less domesticated forms of religion in particular can no longer be ignored. Especially the worldwide spread of Salafist or evangelical ideas is sometimes metaphorically described as an epidemic. A few weeks ago we learned that religions can also be epidemically effective in a non-metaphorical way. Religious communities are now generally acknowledged “superspreaders” of the corona epidemic. more
We are happy to announce that the Philipp Schwartz Initiative for threatened foreign researchers (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, supported by the Federal Foreign Office) has agreed to extend the fellowship for our Associate Ahmet Kerim Gültekin for another year beginning this fall. This was made possible by the support of Leipzig University, Research Academy Leipzig and the KFG "Multiple Secularities", funding 50% of the extension year together.more