KHK "Dynamics in the History of Religions"

The Center for Religious Studies (CERES) is home for several international research projects in the history of religions. The most renowed project is the Käte Hamburger Kolleg 'Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe'. Based on this structure, CERES actively supports the exchange of researchers on the conditions, modes and effects of historical forms of religious plurality with colleagues that work in the Plureligion Network on recent issues in this field. 


Käte Hamburger Kollegs for research in the humanities were introduced as an innovative funding measure by the German government in 2007. They aim to establish core research areas in the humanities at German universities enabling them to promote world-wide collaborations with universities and other research facilities. Every year internationally renowned scholars from the humanities are invited to conduct research at the Käte Hamburger Kollegs for a prolonged period as visiting research fellows. During their residence these scholars are freed from administrative and teaching obligations, giving them the opportunity to concentrate on their individual research and the scientific exchange with their fellow scholars present at the respective institute.


The Käte Hamburger Kolleg 'Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe' commenced its research activities under the direction of Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) in April 2008. In addition to the visiting research fellows, numerous local scholars from Ruhr University Bochum are involved in the institute's research programme, which brings together scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines: religious studies, Classics, Protestant and Catholic theologies, Islamic studies, Japanese studies, Korean studies, Sinology, Indology, Jewish studies, history, and philosophy.


The research programme of the KHK Bochum focuses on the formation and expansion of religions, the mutual permeation of religious traditions and their densifications into the complex figurations called 'world religions.' Regionally, the research covers these phenomena in Europe and Asia. The academic goal is to establish and test a typology of contacts of religions and an overarching theory regarding the transfer of religions in a plural environment.

As part of the Plureligion Network, the research of the KHK Bochum contributes valuable insights into the historical as well as culturally diverse aspects of religious pluralitiy from the ancient to recent times. This contribution enables the researchers of the network to ground their theses on recent developments of religious pluralisation processes and frame their findings in a more wider historical context.