Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Centre for Religious Studies Research Departments

Research Departments

Religion matters in society. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies operates with the vision that religion plays a central role in societies around the world. “Religion” can only be studied and understood as being embedded in “culture”.

This context and the interaction with other cultural and societal elements—such as law, politics, science, art, philosophy, and economy—give “religion” its meaning and cultural place. The study of religion thus requires a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, our academic staff covers a variety of fields and comprises theologians, religious studies specialists, (art) historians, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, political scientists and linguists.

The depth and breadth in methods and expertise, our interdisciplinary approach, and our autonomy as a public institution mean that we are well positioned to contribute substantially to understanding religion and translating our findings for the wider scholarly and general public.


The Faculty’s mission and profile become visible in three research departments, addressing in their research and teaching three major scholarly areas and societal issues:

  • Department 1: Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins. This department focusses on the interrelation between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in their formative phases in the context of ancient Near Eastern, Graeco-Roman and late antique cultures.

  • Department 2: Comparative Study of Religion. In this department, religion is addressed in all its forms and appearances. The focus lies on lived religion: religious practices and discourses as part of the daily lives of people, embedded in diverse socio-cultural and political frameworks around the world.

  • Department 3: Christianity and the History of Ideas. This department is mainly specialized in the history of classical and modern philosophy, the function of religion in the public domain, gender studies, the cultural history of Christianity from the Middle Ages to our time and material and intangible religious heritage.

Last modified:03 January 2022 11.03 a.m.