Research: topics and clusters

In respect to the methodology, the interdisciplinary character of the research platform is expressed in the application of both empirical and hermeneutical approaches. The platform considers the hermeneutics of religious texts in so far as hermeneutics is of importance to the self-understanding of religions and hermeneutics functions as a catalyst for conflicts and societal processes of inclusion and exclusion. The cooperation between scientific disciplines provides the foundation for interdisciplinary complementarities and synergies.

The central theme and project in the second term of the platform was "Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion". The issue of religion's contribution to a possible new vision of Europe was the common thread and theme that ran through the work of the platform´s members.

In the third period (April 2016 - March 2018) the perspective will be amplified and transcends the borders of Europe in order to view the relation of religion and culture in the context of global transformations as well. Especially it shall be examined, how religions influenced on the narratives and symbolic systems of the global culture up to now, including the efforts of self-assertion of non-European cultures. A further object of research will be, how the religions react to global challenges of our time (ecological crises, the dynamics of scientific and philosophical rationalisation processes, secularisation, pluralism, urbanism, technization).     
The common focus will be the question concerning the relation of "Religion and Boundaries" - geographically, politically, legally and symbolically. It shall be inquired, how religions on the one hand contribute to the construction of boundaries and on the other hand to their subversive undermining.  
Under this perspective the research platform dedicates ist work especially to four main thematic areas ("clusters"):

1. Contemporary religious movements in Austria in the context of migration and modernity

2. Aesthetical and normative transformations of religious texts

3. Religious education in secular societies

4. Critique of religion and hermeneutics of religious texts