Fully Funded ERiC Summer School 2016 - Inter-religious Relations on a Global Scale, Germany

Publish Date: Apr 19, 2016

Deadline: May 01, 2016


ERiC Summer School provides a fruitful and well-established format for introducing and discussing cutting-edge research relating to the problems of studying inter-religious relations on a global scale.


The ERiC Summer School will examine such diverse topics as religion, gender, media, digital humanities and material culture. Aimed at doctoral and advanced masters’-level students, ERiC encourages students from around the world to consider religious studies from multiple political and cultural standpoints, giving them the opportunity to create an international network of like-minded junior scholars.


The approach of the ERiC Summer Schooll is historically and culturally comparative: looking at religious interaction across time as well as geography. Christian-Muslim contacts in the past give hints at current issues; Buddhism’s role as a conduit through which many ideas shifted from India to Tibet and China looks at the ties that bind in Asian history; interreligious contacts in medieval and early medieval Ethiopia foreshadow contacts and conflicts in the contemporary Horn of Africa. All such regions and histories have been the subjects of past ERiC presentations and discussions.

The ERiC Summer School is a project of the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany.

Accepted students will receive a round trip ticket from their home or university to Germany, accommodations, all lunches and two dinners. The summer school is free of charge.

To apply, please send a letter of interest, a research project proposal, contacts of two referees and a recent curriculum vitae to (preferably via email) Prof. Adam Knobler:

CERES - Ruhr-Universität Bochum - Prof Dr Adam Knobler - Universitätsstr. 90a - 44789 Bochum - Germany

Email: adam.knobler@rub.de



As a consequence of global developments since the late 1970s, the significance of religion and its potential for creating or reducing conflicts have become the subject of increased medial, political and legal attention. Academic interest in religions too has grown, especially convening contacts between different religions and between members of the same faith but varying denominations. There is a long tradition of studying specific interactions, in particular among the so-called Abrahamic religions. This perspective comes with certain assumptions about the significance of common, yet contested beliefs, scriptures, and historiography, both for internal cohesion and for the exclusion of others. But to what extent do insights into interactions between Jews, Christians and Muslims betray general patterns of religious interactions which are also true in other regions of the globe? How do interactions between Christians and Muslims compare to encounters between Christians and Confucians, or between Buddhists and Hindus?


Recent transdisciplinary research collaboratively conducted by leading experts on religious contacts at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg (KHK) has developed a more global and comparative perspective. In the context of this scholarship, particular attention is being paid to under-researched inter-religious contacts, and to intra-religious contacts that challenge our understanding of religions as coherent structures united by fixed doctrine.

The comparative approach employed at the KHK combines material and systematic studies as well as historical and contemporary research on religions. The research especially focuses on relational aspects as constituents of religious formation. In such a framework, networks of cultural and religious traditions are interpreted as protracted processes of orientation and religious exchange.


In July 2013, a first summer school on Eurasian Religions in Contact (ERiC) was held at the Ruhr University of Bochum with the aim of translating the research conducted by senior scholars into knowledge which benefits junior researchers. The ERiC Summer School offers advanced students of graduate standing working on related topics the opportunity to explore important theoretical and methodological questions for studying these contacts:

  •  How do we theorize religion?
  •  How can we assess the significance of religious identity when members of different communities meet? 
  •  What defines a contact between individuals, communities, traditions, as a contact of religions? 
  •  What are the effects of contact for the formation, development and global expansion of the world’s major religious traditions?

The aims of ERiC Summer School are twofold:

  1. Provide and assess exemplary case studies of intra- and interreligious encounters in Eurasia (though the African continent may also be considered) without limitations as to specific disciplines, timelines, and geographical frame;
  2. Discuss current theoretical frameworks and critical approaches to the study of religious encounters from comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Alongside research on the ground, young researchers will have the opportunity to present their own research and receive constructive feedback from their peers and together with internationally renowned scholars.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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