The series "Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society" has been published since 2022 by BRILL-Verlag (Vienna University Press), edited by Kurt Appel, Christian Danz, Jakob Deibl, Rüdiger Lohlker, Richard Potz and Sieglinde Rosenberger (formerly also Isabella Guanzini and Angelika Walser).

The volumes of this series are peer-reviewed.

The editorial team of the print series suggests notable experts to the publisher for reviewing. In coordination with the publisher, every volume is reviewed by one expert anonymously. Moreover, in anthologies every article is reviewed by the expert seperately.

The authors are subsequently informed about the admission or the rejection of their paper and, if necessary, are asked for changes according to the suggestions by the experts.

The book-series Studying Jihadism edited by Rüdiger Lohlker will be continued within the RaT Series starting with July 2018. The first two volumes of Studying Jihadism are entitled New Approaches to the Analysis of Jihadism: Online and Offline (volume 1) and Jihadism: Online Discourses and Representations (volume 2). With RaT-Volume 14, World Wide Warriors, the series Studying Jihadism is continued.

The following books have already been published:

Volume 30

Leonardo Paris: The Heir. A Christology

A man stands out on the scene, a free man. He puts forth a new way of relating to the God of Israel. He is the heir. He is the one who knows how to receive and communicate what has been given to him. He does so by impressing his unique trait on it. Many are fascinated by this figure. Others are scared to the point of precipitating events until the man is killed. However, precisely in his death, this figure will release his vision of God in all its strength. A vision that, from that moment in time, will never cease to attract, to scandalize, and to provoke reality. Today as yesterday. From this story, the idea of God emerges forever overturned, and with it the forms of power, freedom, and human identity. In this book, Christian theology is presented through engaging events, with the flavour of a contemporary novel. A fresh and groundbreaking Christology.

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Volume 28

Rüdiger Lohlker (ed.) and Katharina Ivanyi (ed.): Agents of Violence. Non-Governmental Armed Forces in Southwest Asia, North Africa and beyond

The violent conflicts of recent decades in Southwest Asia, North Africa and adjacent regions are often read in terms of the conventional parameters of an international order of sovereign nation states. However, in recent years, non-governmental armed forces have emerged to play an increasingly significant role in the political, social and military fields of the region. These forces are usually analyzed as isolated actors, operating in their respective local or regional spheres, without attention to wider structural commonalities. The aim of this volume is to examine these groups not only as military actors, but also as forces of social significance, indicative of substantial historical shifts relating to notions of sovereignty, beyond the usual prioritization of the state. Comparing the nature, operation and discourses of such forces allows for new understandings of their social impact, beyond common reductionist approaches of securitized worldviews and essentializing lines of inquiry centered on religion.

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Volume 27

Wolfgang Treitler: Jesus, Josefs Sohn. Der Messias als Tor des Bundes

Jesus is interpreted as the messianic son of Joseph who lost to Roman power and thus assumes a unique significance in an uncompletable messianic process. The motif of the messianic son of Joseph, known to Jewish tradition, interprets the Messiah as one sent to be defeated and killed by imperial power. It avoids the high claim of the glorious messianic son of David, who would have brought perfection - this remained absent after Jesus - as well as the God-man idea that emerged in Gentile Christianity, which forms a contradiction to all conceptions of the Messiah and dissolves the monotheism of Judaism. However, it fundamentally binds Christian communities to the basic tenets of Judaism. With this work about Jesus, Joseph's son, a new, today unknown way is initiated, which can refer to Jewish Christian motives and tries to convey them in a timely manner.

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Volume 26

Anne-Kathrin Fischbach (ed.) and Stephan Tautz (ed.): Zeiten wenden?! Konstellationen von Gottesreden nach der Postmoderne

"Zeitenwende" was voted "Word of the year 2022". There was much ridicule that the proclamation of the "turn of an era" was always an expression of an overestimation of one's own epoch. In fact, every era has a need to actively turn its own times around - to help build the future. On the occasion of his 60th birthday, this anthology brings together contributions by companions of the philosopher of religion and dogmatist Karlheinz Ruhstorfer, whose topological approach is particularly committed to the task of productive construction: his intuition - the order of the day is "constellation". By putting together different elements, creative processes emerge that enable productive change - a new identity. This volume explores the question of what such an identity can look like in relation to previous identities from a methodological, theological-philosophical, historical and spiritual perspective.

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Volume 25

Christian Danz (ed.), Jakob Helmut Deibl (ed.): Transformation of Religion. Interdisciplinary Perspectives

This volume presents different approaches to the concept of religion. Religion in modern societies is undergoing accelerated change. Traditional religious forms are dissolving and being overlaid with or replaced by new ones. This poses particular challenges for analyses of the current religious situation, which already presuppose an understanding of religion. But it is precisely this that is disputed in academic discourse about it. Against the background of this complex situation, this volume turns to the transformations of religion. It brings together inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to religion and its definition. In this way, it takes into account the fact that the transformations of religion can only be grasped by incorporating diverse methodological approaches.


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Volume 24

Rüdiger Lohlker (ed.), Katharina Ivanyi (ed.): Humanitarian Islam. Reflecting on an Islamic Concept

Humanitarian Islam is an innovative concept that has begun emerging from the traditions of Islam in Indonesia in recent years. The most important contemporary Islamic organizations in Indonesia support it. Nevertheless, it seems to be unknown beyond the Southeast Asian context, despite its global potential, aspirations and claims. Moreover, the concept has not received any academic attention so far. This volume presents reflections on the idea of Humanitarian Islam by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars from Europe and beyond.


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Volume 23

Regina Polak (ed.): Interreligiöser Dialog. Wissenschaftliche Zugänge zur Begegnung der abrahamitischen Religionen

Interreligious dialogue can make a significant contribution to peaceful coexistence in ideologically plural societies. In this context, the trilateral dialogue between Jews, Christians and Muslims is at the center of attention. Admittedly, this dialogue is associated with highly heterogeneous understandings, interests and goals. Religious people associate different ideas with interreligious dialogue than social or political actors. In this volume, internationally renowned scholars address interreligious dialogue from interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives - i.e., theological, historical, religious, social, educational, and practical - and explore the complexity of the phenomenon, the problems associated with it, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and its possibilities and limits.

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Volume 22

Gunter Prüller-Jagenteufel (ed.), Ruben C. Mendoza (ed.), Gertraud Ladner (ed.): In Service for a Servant Church

This volume documents two international conferences held as part of the global theological research program „A Kairos for Catholic Theology: Serving the Church – Serving the World“ of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology (INSeCT). The 2019 intercontinental conference in Manila was dedicated to European-Asian dialogue and gathered contributions on peace, justice, democracy and political culture, ecology, family and gender justice. The 2020 European Conference in Vienna was dedicated to the contribution of multicultural and multi-religious experienced Europe to the solution of the current global challenges in church and society.


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Volume 21

Jan Niklas Collet (ed.), Judith Gruber (ed.), Wietske de Jong-Kumru (ed.), Christian Kern (ed.), Sebastian Pittl (ed.), Stefan Silber (ed.), und Christian Tauchner (ed.): Doing Climate Justice. Theological Explorations

Anchored in Concrete struggles for climate justice, this volume offers constructive theological contributions to the development of just ways of living in an inter-special community.

The struggle against the climate crisis and for a livable future on earth raises profound questions of justice that call for theological engagement. Anchored in concrete situations of climate vulnerability and responsibility, this volume investigates the theological epistemologies, practices and imaginaries that have profoundly shaped climate politics in the past and explores possible theological reformulations that can open up sustainable and just futures. With these critical and constructive theological reflections, it seeks to contribute to practices of climate justice by inspiring the development of socially and economically just ways of living in global, inter-special community.


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Volume 20

Marlene Deibl (ed.), Katharina Mairinger (ed.). Eindeutig mehrdeutig. Ambiguitäten im Spannungsfeld von Gesellschaft, Wissenschaft und Religion. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2022.

From an interdisciplinary perspective, this anthology is dedicated to both the phenomenon and the concept of ambiguity in the ambiguous field between society, science and religion It attempts to stimulate the study of ambiguity and tolerance of ambiguity as a characteristic and challenge for social differentiation processes. Expertise from psychology, philosophy, sociology, linguistics and the historical sciences serves to make the concept of ambiguity attractive and fruitful
for the systematic and ethical subjects of theology and simultaneously shows its broader relevance for social frameworks. It becomes clear that society, science and religion can best do justice to the complexity of life when they resist the lure of unambiguous answers. Thus, the authors of this volume agree that the answers to the question of a successful social coexistence are definitely ambiguous.

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Volume 19

Regina Polak (ed.). Israel's 70th Anniversary: Insights and Perspectives. Politics - Culture - Religion. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2020.

The aim of the volume is to offer interdisciplinary insights unknown to many into the interior of the religious, cultural and political laboratory that is Israel. Europe can learn a lot from Israel: The handling of religious diversity within the country; the meaning of the Hebrew language; the integration of more than a million Jewish immigrants; the development of a dynamic economy; a flourishing education and science system; a rich culture in the field of literature and above all film; and last but not least the lively, constant and conflictual struggle for democracy. Additionally, the question of Israel-related anti-Semitism is debated from the perspective of Jewish studies, social sciences and Catholic theology.

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Volume 18

Ioan Moga: Orthodoxe Selbst- und Fremdbilder. Identitätsdiskurse der rumänischen orthodoxen Theologie im Verhältnis zur Römisch-Katholischen Kirche in der Zeit von 1875 bis 1989. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2020.

This volume is a theological-historical analysis of the orthodox-theological identity discourses in the Romanian-speaking area of the 20th century (specially between 1875 and 1989) in view of the perception, assessment and recognition of the Roman Catholic Church. The author advocates for contingency-conscious hermeneutics in the history of Orthodox theology and for the historization of the different, still influential self-concepts of the Orthodox Church. Unexpected nuances of the orthodox positioning towards modernity and the ecclesial reality of the other denominations come to light. The way and the world of (Romanian) Orthodox theology in the 20th century are gaining color and complexity.

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Review by Stefan Kube

Volume 17

Cornelius Zehetner (Ed.): Menschenrechte und Metaphysik. Beiträge zu Francisco Suárez. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2020.

As the first German collected edition in over 100 years, this edition focuses on two basic topics of the Spanish philosopher and theologian Francisco Suárez SJ (1548–1617) that govern his reception until today: metaphysics and legal theory. The contributors discuss Suárez both as an influential thinker of contemporary European school metaphysics, and as a representative of a global philosophy of religion and ethics. What is furthermore discussed is the balance of theory and practice with regard to the question in how far a universal First Philosophy can claim to be binding today. An overview of Suárez’ work and life, and a guide to his primary and secondary literature as well as a name register round off this edition.

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Volume 16

Daniel Kuran: Geschichte zwischen Mythos und Messianischem. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2019.

In Walter Benjamin’s oeuvre history is grasped in a triangular relation to myth and messianism. The vulnerability of the dead is the key idea, which opens up a passage between myth and messianism and allows to think history in its humane dimension. Starting from Benjamin’s early essay Critique of Violence (Zur Kritik der Gewalt) and considering the enormous influence of the latter on current thought in Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, and Sigrid Weigel, Benjamin’s concept of history is being unfold in this book. The potential of a “weak messianism” (schwacher Messianismus), which points to the nucleus of Benjamin’s thought, lies in the fact that it allows for the recognition of the dead as subject of history as well as it provides a critique of sovereign power, images and society.

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Volume 15

Katharina Limacher (Hg.), Astrid Mattes (Hg.), Christoph Novak (Hg.), Prayer, Pop and Politics. Researching Religious Youth in Migration Society, Vienna University Press by V&R unipress, Göttingen 2019.

What is it like to be young and religious in migration society? This volume presents research at the intersection of religion, age and race. The chapters’ foci range from methodological challenges to conceptual work and empirical case studies. The authors present research on various religious traditions including contributions on young Alevis, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, and apply an array of theoretical angles among them feminist, post- and de-colonial perspectives. Furthermore, the volume engages in the debate over novel conceptual frameworks attuned to investigate contemporary manifestations of youth religiosity, for example in digital spaces. The methodological chapters advocate for reflexivity in the context of empirical research on religion in migration society and promote a self-evaluative assessment of researchers’ positionalities.

Link to Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 

Review by Martin Baumann

Volume 14

Rüdiger Lohlker (Ed.): World Wide Warriors. How Jihadis Operate Online. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2019.

The contributions of this volume aim at a new, evidence based approach to Jihadism studies. What is the structure of Jihadi online communication and the dissemination of operational material online? Which errors were made by conventional Jihadism research? Which programs, apps, etc. use Jihadis to further their online communication? Next to these questions the contributors discuss the evident inability to understand basic mathematical principles in conventional Jihadism research and consider a very important video as a case study of Jihadi online communication, stressing the linguistic and theological shortcomings of conventional research. The volume is based on the understanding of theological elements as a vital part of Jihadi communication.

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Volume 13

Gunter Prüller-Jagenteufel, Sharon Bong, Rita Perintfalvi (Ed.): Towards Just Gender Relations. Rethinking the Role of Women in Church and Society. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2019.

All over the world there is the move towards just gender relations – even if the odds seem to be less hopeful than a decade ago. This poses a special task for Christians and Churches in service of the marginalised who engage in the fight for justice. The articles collected in this volume provide insights from two intercultural theological conferences. The topic for the European-Asian dialogue focuses on “Gender and Ecclesiology”. The European dialogue between western and eastern Central European countries has a special aim for gender theories and their theological and political implications. The book presents contributions from different perspectives and shows how the Christian churches can contribute to gender justice.

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Volume 12

Hans Schelkshorn/Herman Westerink (Hg.): Reformation(en) und Moderne. Philosophisch-theologische Erkundungen. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2017.

The contemporary historical research situates Luther’s Reformation in a much larger context of Christian reform movements that emerge in the late medieval and early modern period. Against this background the enlightened view of Luther as protagonist of the modern era is in need of revision. The variety of reform movements together with the Renaissance humanism compose a rich reservoir of spiritual reforms that will all influence the further development of the modern era. In this volume, this complex of the variety of Christian reforms relative to modernity is elaborated through exemplary studies from a philosophical-theological perspective.

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Volume 11

Pittl, Sebastian / Prüller-Jagenteufel, Gunter: Unterwegs zu einer neuen "Zivilisation geteilter Genügsamkeit". Perspektiven utopischen Denkens 25 Jahre nach dem Tod Ignacio Ellacurías. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2016.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the assassination of the Spanish theologian and human rights activist Ignacio Ellacuría, the contributions in this edition attempt to fathom perspectives of utopian thinking in the present. Ellacuría’s vision of a global „civilization of shared contentment“ is thereby considered as point of departure to – in an interdisciplinary manner – ask for potentials of the utopian that can be brought up today against the latent fatalism of an itself globalizing „civilization of indifference“ (Pope Francis). A critical re-reading of the utopian takes up the space of the proclaimed „end of utopia“. The question of a possible future for victims of the current civilization guides this attempt of re-reading.

Link to Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

Review by Matthew Ashley

Review by Ulrich Engel

Review by Franz Gmainer-Pranzl

Volume 10

Appel, Kurt /  Guanzini, Isabella (eds.): Europa mit oder ohne Religion? II. Der Beitrag der Religion zum gegenwärtigen und künftigen Europa. Vienna University Press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2016.

How can past and future religious narratives constructively accompany the Project Europe? How can European history of thought contribute to a creation and formation of contemporary Europe and its identities? How do phenomena of exile and of migration shape religious European landscapes and in how far do they reinforce the discussion of rights of religious minorities? This edition unites interdisciplinary contributions that follow these questions and that analyze the mutual influence of religious systems of symbols and political processes of transformation.

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Volume 9

Polak, Regina / Reiss, Wolfram (eds.): Religion im Wandel. Transformation religiöser Gemeinschaften in Europa durch Migration - Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven.Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2014. 

From the perspectives of selected disciplines (religious studies, sociology, political science, theology, Catholic and Islamic religious educational science etc.) and of representatives and experts of the monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), this edition focuses on a phenomenon that changes European societies deeply: international migration and its impact on socio-religious processes of transformation in religious communities. Theoretical approaches and practical-empirical reports provide a representative insight into current research.

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Volume 8

Appel, Kurt / Guanzini, Isabella / Walser, Angelika (eds.): Europa mit oder ohne Religion? Der Beitrag der Religion zum gegenwärtigen und künftigen Europa. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2014.

The volume assembles papers previewsly presented at the international conference “Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion”, which the Research Platform “Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society” of the University of Vienna organized in February 2013, at the end of its three-year term. Scholars from the field of social sciences, law, sociology of religion, philosophy and of theology investigate the role that religious transformations play within the growing complexity of the global context. The volume focuses on the social weight of religion on the cultural and political dynamics in our present (post)secular society and, vice versa, analyzes the social and political changes that influence religions and theological self-reflections. The contributions examine the visions and perspectives the different religions can introduce in a pluralistic European Project, investigating the role of religions with regard to the advancement or the regression of democracy within an inclusive differentiated society.

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Volume 7

Schelkshorn, Hans / Wolfram, Friedrich / Langthaler, Rudolf (eds.): Religion in der globalen Moderne. Philosophische Erkundungen. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2014.

The current process of globalization holds enormous challenges for religious traditions all over the world. The intensification of global communication through the new information technologies enhances mutual questioning of religious doctrines. Migration movements and transcultural processes created also in Europe new multi-religious constellations. Thus in all regions of global modernity the societal cohesion is threatened by conflicts between fundamentalist religious movements and various secular groups with religious, agnostic or atheistic orientations. At this background the European philosophy of religion has to transcend the narrow horizons of the western modernity without abandoning its achievements. This diagnosis of the current world situation determines the main parts of this volume. The first section deals with systematic approaches for an intercultural reorientation of the European philosophy of religion. The following sections contain distinguished studies of European philosophies of religion from Neoplatonism to Nietzsche and approaches of the 20th century (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus, Michel Henry). The last section is devoted to detailed interreligious studies, concretely about the thought of Ibn Rushd ( Averroes), of the modern Hindu thinker Sri Aurobindo and the “atheistic” dimension of Buddhism.

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Volume 6

Langthaler, Rudolf / Meiller, Christopher / Appel, Kurt (eds.): Religion in der Moderne. Religionsphilosophische Beiträge zu einer aktuellen Debatte. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2013.

For some time now, the topic of „religion“ has increasingly been discussed in philosophical debates. The religio-philosophical localization and further definition of the topic of religion in modernity constituted the main part of a lecture series that took place within the framework of the research platform „Religion and Transformation in modern European societies“ in 2011/2012 at the University of Vienna. The revised religio-philosophical contributions to this lecture series have been collected in this volume. Members of the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Vienna (who are also members of the research platform) have written replicas.

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Volume 5

Deibl, Jakob: Menschwerdung und Schwächung. Annäherung an ein Gespräch mit Gianni Vattimo. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2013.

For Gianni Vattimo, one of the most important representatives of postmodern philosophy and founder of „weak thinking“, an intensive engagement with the question of religion has begun after 1989, after the end of grand narrations. Jakob Deibl traces these references by Vattimo. For Vattimo, the Pauline interpretation of the incarnation of logos as kenosis is crucial. In the idea of self-renunciation of the absolute, he sees the decisive, historical-philosophical category that could make a re-narration of occidental history beyond possessive, totalitarian historical designs possible. Vattimo’s concept sees itself as a narration of the departure from the grand narrations and the weakening of strong structures. It counters apocalyptic visions of an end of history as well as fundamental attempts to give it another strong basis, and tendencies of its nihilistic dissolution. 

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Volume 4

Westerink, Herman (eds.): Constructs of Meaning and Religious Transformation. Current Issue in the Psychology of Religion. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2013.

One of the major trends in the psychology of religion is the growing interest in religious and spiritual meaning making in relation to religious and spiritual transformation processes, notably as the aftermath of traumatic experiences and in situations of crisis, stress or disease when personal well-being is at stake and coping activities and skills are enhanced. This volume covers this broad and complex area of interrelated issues. The contributions focus on religious and spiritual meaning making and transformation. They do not compose an integrated perspective on religious meaning making and transformation processes. Rather, this volume assembles and presents the current state of research on this complex of issues. Thus it not only provides an excellent overview of the psychological study of constructs of meaning and religious transformation, but also contributes to our knowledge of contemporary religious life in the context of socio-cultural transformation processes (pluralisation, globalization).

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Volume 3

Rothgangel, Martin / Aslan, Ednan / Jäggle, Martin (eds.): Religion und Gemeinschaft. Die Frage der Integration aus christlicher und muslimischer Perspektive. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2013. 

What significance does religion have for processes of migration- and social transformation processes? Religion's potential for conflict is frequently focused on, despite the fact that religion also has potential for peace. The topic of this edition is „integration“ from Christian and Muslim perspectives. The contributions of Christian and Muslim authors focus on five main topics: basic perspectives, Islam in the context of migration, theological and religio-legal immersions, interreligious learning as challenges, and specific contexts: city, Caritas, church. What makes this edition and its contents so valuable are the various perspectives: scientists, church representatives, and those responsible at Caritas and in administration contribute to the topic. Apart from the necessary theoretical re-definitions and discussions, this variety of approaches also leads to a differentiated perception of practical challenges. Both sides are indispensible for progress in this field.

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Volume 2

Grohmann, Marianne / Ragcs, Ursula (eds.): Religion übersetzen. Übersetzung und Textrezeption als Transformationsphänomene von Religion. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2012.

The area of tension between Hebrew, Greek and Arabic „original texts“ and translations accompanies the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam since its beginning. Between the tensions of canonized texts and changing interpretations, a process typical for many religions in transformation takes place. Religious texts are transformed in different contexts through translation and reception. Their interpretations are shaped by respective contemporary contexts and, at the same time, contribute to social processes of transformation. The contributions of this edition are dedicated to the hermeneutical questions of a bridging of present and antique Bible texts, stations of their history of reception, as well as interpretations of the Qur’an. They analyze exemplarily texts pertaining to the Old and New Testament, Jewish and Islamic studies, and translation sciences, and patristic, systematic-theological texts.

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Volume 1

Appel, Kurt / Danz, Christian / Potz, Richard / Rosenberger, Sieglinde / Walser, Angelika (eds.): Religion in Europa heute. Sozialwissenschaftliche, rechtswissenschaftliche und hermeneutisch-religionsphilosophische Perspektiven. Vienna university press bei V&R unipress, Göttingen 2012.

Religion appears to be surprisingly vivid in today’s secularized European societies – contrary to numerous predictions. Religion thereby becomes a challenge for the different humanities. In eleven contributions, the authors of this edition (from philosophy, theology, sociology, political, legal and cultural sciences and Jewish and Islamic studies) research mutual effects between religion(s) and processes of transformation in European societies and their consequences on social and individual level. The contributions focus on five main topics of the research platform „Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society“: critique of religion, the question of God, religion in processes of inclusion and exclusion, legal challenges in multi-religious societies in Europe, religious constructions of meaning and values and the reception and hermeneutics of religious texts.

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