Research Training Group "Interconfessionality in the Early Modern Period"
The research training group’s program is based on the collaborative work of scholars with backgrounds in German and English studies, Romance philology, Byzantine and Greek studies, Latin studies, history, history of philosophy, musicology, art history, Jewish studies, as well as Protestant and Catholic theology.
Its innovative approach towards inter- and transdenominational permeability in the 16th through the 18th centuries has proven successful in its first research period funded by the DFG. The research projects involved are particularly interested in theological, literary, political and artistic phenomena that define or overcome (= interdenominational) the lines between the emerging denominations or that are common to both (= trans-denominational). Strong emphasis is being placed on the group’s research on the heterogenous forms of media employed in the context of representations and communication processes beyond the narrower confines of denomimations, relying heavily on recent developments in the field of material culture studies. Informed by and indebted to research outcomes produced so far, the research training group will – in its second period of funding – pay close attention to issues concerning the dialectics of openness and exclusiveness of denominations in their respective contacts with other groups. Furthermore, the role of interconfessionality in the context of determining internal denominational differentiation, up to the early 18th century will be subject to further scrutiny. Due to the researchers’ shared interest in the historically informed analysis of media, the research training group is not only studying the representation of different denominational assumptions in artefacts, but also attempts to reconstruct as precisely as possible, how literature, the stage, the fine arts and sacred music reflect theological concepts as well as shape them and thus contribute to their continuous development. In addition to the investigation of the original regions of the Reformation, early modern European and non- European contexts with a different historical profile will also be taken into consideration: Italy as the heartland of Catholic reform, England with its Anglican state church, the Greek speaking provinces of Venice, the Ottoman Empire as the heartland of Greek Orthodoxy, the viceroyalties of Peru and New Spain as well as China as areas of post-Tridentine missions.
The doctoral program offers ideal conditions for a successful completion of the degree through its facilitation of indispensable interdisciplinary communication amongst the candidates themselves and with professors as well as through its framework of specific courses, supervision by an interdisciplinary commission and inclusion of international guest professors. The by now well-established and enhanced qualification- and quality assurance-concept aims at providing effective supervision while at the same time strengthening the personal responsibility and autonomy of the doctoral candidates. The program encourages project specific research abroad as well as supports doctoral candidates to participate actively in international conferences.