Max-Weber-Kolleg provides support for doctoral preparation

As part of its study programme, the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt offers intensive doctoral preparation for a period of six months.

The doctoral preparation is aimed at young female academics who have recently graduated with an excellent MA degree or are about to graduate with an MA degree and are aiming for an interdisciplinary doctorate in the context of the Weber research programme at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, which can be supervised by members of the Kolleg. Interested applicants can still apply until 30 April. Since the Max-Weber-Kolleg would like to support women in a special way, this call for applications is exclusively addressed to women. In addition, the Max-Weber-Kolleg also announces up to three of these scholarships for all applicants.

For information on requirements and application, please see the one the website of the Max-Weber-Kolleg.

Invitation to the international conference of the research group „Religion and Urbanity“

The research group „Religion and Urbanity: Mutual Formations“ (FOR 2779) at the University of Erfurt invites all interested parties to the international conference „Blurring Boundaries“ at Ettersburg castle in Weimar from 24 to 26 November 2021. The focus will be on research approaches and sources for the study of religious phenomena that are connected to or produced in urban space, but are also disseminated and adapted outside of cities.

The aim of the conference organised by Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke and Dr. Dr. Emiliano Rubens Urciuoli is to think of urban religion as a processual category that attempts to blur and emphasise any topographical boundary between supposedly rural and urban religious traditions. The origin of religious practices or forms of organisation is explicitly not to be fixed to territorial habitats or their continued existence limited to spatial determinants. Rather, the interest is in the constant circulation of religious signs, carriers, practices and institutions across a more or less externally drawn city boundary.

Speakers are: Handan Aksünger-Kizil (Vienna), Roberto Alciati (Florence), William Elison (Santa Barbara), Laszlo Ferenczi (Prague), Audrey Ferlut (Lyon), Valentino Gasparini (Madrid), Behnaz Ghazi (Graz) Jens-Uwe Hartmann (Munich), Marietta Horster (Mainz), Elisa Iori (Erfurt), Sara Keller (Erfurt), Rachna Mehra (Delhi), Katharina Mersch (Bochum), Jörg Rüpke & Emiliano R. Urciuoli (Erfurt), Yogesh Snehi (Delhi), Marika Vicziany (Melbourne), Benno Werlen (Jena) and Ingrid Würth (Potsdam).

The research group „Religion and Urbanity“ is based at the Max-Weber-Kolleg and has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2018 (FOR 2779). It investigates the long-term co-constitution and co-evolution of religion and urbanity. It asks about the role religion plays in the emergence of urbanity, how urbanity has changed religion and how they keep influencing each other.

Max-Weber-Kolleg welcomes new members in the winter semester 2021/22

The Max-Weber-Kolleg for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt welcomes numerous new fellows and junior researchers from Germany and abroad in the winter semester 2021/22.

This academic year, Professor Corinna Riva (Great Britain) with a research project on „Citizenship and religion in 1st-millennium-bc mediterranean: Etruria and Iberia“ and Professor Kiran Klaus Patel (Munich) with his project „Presence in contemporary history“ are Distinguished Fellows of the Max-Weber-Kolleg.

The research group „Religion and Urbanity: Reciprocal Formations“, which focuses on India, welcomes the following new fellows this semester: Professor Raminder Kaur (India) with the research project „Sacred Cities: Magnets for Mercantilism, Moralities, Worship and Salvation“; Dr Christina Williamson (Netherlands), who has come to Erfurt again to work on the topic „Festival hubs. Deep-mapping sanctuaries in the ancient Greek world“; Dr Mara Albrecht with the project „The Space-Time of Urban Violence and Violence Control in the British Empire – The Riots in Belfast (late 19th and early 20th century) and in Jerusalem during the Mandate Period“. Dr des. Marlis Arnhold is researching „Death and the Dead in the City – A Case Study on Roman and Late Antique Athens“. PhD candidate Austin Collins (UK) is researching within a cotutelle agreement with Durham „The Reach of Royal Power in France: Examining how the Valois Monarchy Reacted to the Centre and the Periphery, 1547–1589 „. The associated postdoc Thomas Schader is researching „Urban Piety between Resonance and Dissonance. Seville and Lisbon from the Perspective of German Jesuits“.

The International Graduate School „Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices“, which is conducted in cooperation with the University of Graz, welcomes Alina Zeller as a new doctoral researcher, who is writing her dissertation on „Trachtenvereine in den USA: Praktiken im Spannungsfeld um deutschamerikanische Ethnizität“. Also newly admitted is the doctoral researcher Christopher Bégin (Canada) with the project „Religiosity and rituals in clubbing: resonance in unity, consumption and timelessness“.

The research group „Social Philosophy and Social Theory“ can also welcome two new doctoral researchers: Steven Sello is working on an „Examination of Life Advice Literature in the 20th Century“ and Sophie von Kalckreuth is working on the topic of „Body Phenomenology as a Normative Framework for the Use of Digital Technologies in Care“.

Within the framework of the new Collaborative Research Centre (SFB TRR 294) „Structural Changes of Property Regimes“ in cooperation with the University of Jena, the new doctoral researchers Philipp Köncke and Lea Schneidemesser (Project JRT02 “Clash or Convergence of Capitalisms: Property Conflicts over Chinese Direct Investments in Germany and the European Union”) as well as the postdocs Sanjay Jothe (Project B01 Urban Property Regimes and Citizenship in Transition: Changing Ownership Patterns and Systems of Relatedness in India”), Sophia Bianchi Mancini and Maria Dell’Isola (both in the Project A01 “Divine Property: Solutions form Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages”) can be welcomed. 

The International Centre of Advanced Studies „Metamorphoses of the Political“ (ICAS–MP) welcomes as new Fellows Dr Shireen Mirza, who is researching „Stigma in the City: Making and Unmaking Mumbai City“ and Professor Shail Mayaram (India), who is continuing work on her book „Political/Non-political Islam“.

The Meister Eckhart Research Unit is supervising a new doctoral researcher: Lorenzo Cozzi (Italy) is working on the topic „The other Apocalypse. The thought of history in Nicholas of Lyra’s Postilla Litteralis“ and will carry out his doctorate within the framework of a cotutelle with Modena.

Dr Jasmin Lorch has been associated with her project „Cross-Regional and Cross-Religious Comparative Investigation“ as a post-doctoral researcher in the research group „Local Politicisation of Global Norms“.

The director of the Kolleg, Hartmut Rosa, is pleased about the newcomers from Germany and abroad and emphasises: „We are glad to be able to meet again in presence thanks to the 3-G regulation, as this way more intensive interactions are possible in the joint struggle for research questions.“

Gábor Gángó publishes first part of Johann Christian von Boineburg’s correspondence

Professor Gábor Gángó, Associate Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kollege of the University of Erfurt and member of the Research Centre for Early Modern Natural Law of the Gotha Research Centre and the Max-Weber-Kolleg, has collected Johann Christian von Boineburg’s letters from German libraries and archives, processed their metadata in part and transcribed the texts. Now the first part of this correspondence has been published on EMLO Oxford (Early Modern Letters Online).

Johann Christian von Boineburg was born in Eisenach on 12 April 1622. He studied in Jena and later in Helmstedt. His marriage to Anna Christine Schütz von Holzhausen produced his important son, Philipp Wilhelm Reichsgraf von Boineburg (1656-1717). The last years of Johann Christian’s life were intellectually shaped by his encounter with the young Leipzig jurist Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who not only became Philipp Wilhelm’s tutor but, thanks to Boineburg, also obtained a position at the Mainz court of Johann Philipp von Schönborn. A number of works by the young Leibniz were written in collaboration with Boineburg. Boineburg died in Mainz on 8 December 1672. Philipp Wilhelm was appointed governor of the Electoral-Mainzian city of Erfurt and rector of Erfurt university, and moved his father’s library from Mainz to Erfurt in order to maintain and expand it.

Professor Gábor Gángó collected Johann Christian von Boineburg’s letters from German libraries and archives (mainly from the University Library of Erfurt, the University Library of Giessen, the Bavarian State Archives of Munich, the Herzog August Library of Wolfenbüttel, the Lower Saxony State Archives of Wolfenbüttel and the Bavarian State Archives of Würzburg) between 2016 and 2018 as part of a MWK-COFUND Fellowship (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 665958). A fellowship at the University of Erfurt subsequently made it possible for him to partially process the metadata of the letters as well as their previously unfinished transcription. The University of Padua is currently funding the completion of the metadata preparation for upload to the EMLO union catalogue. The first part of the correspondence is now available.

„I am pleased that my previous basic research on Boineburg is gaining great international visibility in this way. I also expect new fruitful research collaborations from the planned complete publication of the correspondence,“ says Professor Gábor Gángó. At the same time, the publication increases the international visibility of Erfurt’s research in the field of digital humanities and makes an important contribution to making central sources available for early modern research.

Hot off the press: Research perspectives on globalisation and world relations

Our 2021 thematic issue on the topic of „Globalisation and World Relations“ has just been published. It brings together perspectives and academic approaches from researchers from the various disciplines at the University of Erfurt and is now available online and in print.

Globalisation and world relations – a topic that may sound abstract at first, but which we encounter „live“ every day. One that we argue about, that challenges us, that drives us – in very different ways – and that sometimes also makes us doubt. And above all, one that academics at the University of Erfurt are researching and thus have a great deal to contribute. Each from their own perspective and discipline. Whether climate policy or COVID-19, conflict research or space-time observations, historical observations on the beginnings of global phenomena, religion, colonialism, world economy and financial crisis: the spectrum is broad. Our thematic issue is intended to provide an insight into this – our – research and, with a selected student contribution, also to show a perspective of tomorrow’s researchers.

You can download the issue as a PDF here or pick it up as a print brochure from the Office of University Communications in the Administration Building (while stocks last). We hope you enjoy reading it!

Jörg Rüpke receives honorary doctorate from the University of Graz

A particularly solemn event can be experienced at the University of Graz today, 27 October 2021, as the University of Graz is today honouring two outstanding academics for their special academic achievements with an honorary doctorate in philosophy. In addition to the historian Professor Ivan Părvev, the religious scholar Professor Jörg Rüpke, co-director of the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt, will also be awarded this special dignity.

Rüpke is being honoured as one of the world’s leading experts on the history of ancient Roman religion, as well as for his services in cooperation with the University of Graz, especially as one of the initiators and idea providers of the International Graduate School „Resonant Self-World Relations in Socio-Religious Practices in Antiquity and the Present“.

But honorary doctorates are not only an honour, they also entail an obligation. Following the custom of the University of Graz, „honorary doctorates vow to keep an honourable memory of the University of Graz and to support its concerns, furthermore to keep the honour conferred upon them unharmed and without reproach, and finally to apply their erudition, knowledge and wisdom – according to their humanity – for the salvation and welfare of mankind and never to stray from this task.“

This reminder of the task of the sciences in society has always been taken particularly seriously by the Max-Weber-Kolleg. Hartmut Rosa, Director of the Max-Weber-Kolleg: „We are pleased with Jörg Rüpke about this outstanding award for his scientific oeuvre as well as for his tireless commitment in the sense of promoting young researchers and transferring scientific knowledge to society.“