Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

Full Professorship in History of Religions

Prof. Dr. Dorothea Weltecke

This full professorship represents a transcultural, comparative and integrative approach to the history of religions. In conversation with the history of antiquity and modern history, it will be particularly focused on the centuries between 500 and 1500. In this era, the three monotheistic religions underwent a significant and (to this day) lasting development conditioned (since the 7th century) by the existence of other religions and many internal divisions and denominations. In multiple respects, the history of this epoch will be a special point of reference when discussing present-day conflicts in both the East and the West. Especially the history of the Crusades and of the Inquisition are important in strategies of political and historical argumentation.

Both Western and Eastern cultures were principally multi-religious or multi-denominational in this epoch, despite attempts at unifying them (sometimes by force). The history of Latin Christianity has to be placed in a larger, transcultural context, encompassing Western and Eastern churches and their numerous heresies and schisms. Cultural and religious distinctions along with overlapping relationships also co-determined the history of Judaism and Islam. During this period, different non-monotheistic cultures were also to be encountered in many places. The histories of the religions are linked by common cultures and identities as well as by conflicts, persecutions, exchanges, interactions and mutual perceptions.

To pursue the methodological implications of the critique of medievalism, new models and designations for this epoch will have to be tested from a history of science perspective on religions. These approaches should better account for the variability and dynamics of the period, thus making it possible to distinguish bipolar narratives.

This full professorship is by necessity interdisciplinary in its research areas and methods; it also seeks collaborative partners primarily in history and Kulturwissenschaften, in Oriental Studies as well as the history of theology and religions. The holder of the chair will work together with other full professors in the Center of Excellence and the field of history at the University of Constance.

curriculum vitae