Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology
Following the relocation of the Religious History department from the Philosophical Faculty to the Theological Faculty in 1962, the first chair was held by C. Colpe. As a member of the Philosophical Faculty, his appointment in 1964 was a continuation of the close relationship between these two faculties. From 1971 the chair was occupied by G. Wießner; in addition to general religious history, he also specialised in the religious history of late antiquity and the Near East. Prof. Wießner died in 1999 and was succeeded by Prof. Grünschloß from the Winter Semester 2001/2. The department changed its name from “General History of Religion” to “Religious Studies". The entire span of religious studies is reflected in research and teaching. Publications cover systematic religious studies as well as the history of religions. Current focuses are on New Religions and Buddhism, on comparative and systematic religious research, as well as on forms of inter-religious exchanges and mutual perception of the other.
In addition to the departmental library, students also have access to the libraries of subject-related departments in both the Theological and Philosophical faculties.
In the standard courses offered by Theological Faculty, such as Theology (also at degree level) and Religious Education, Religious Studies can be studied as an optional extra in Theology as an elective for exams. Knowledge of non-Christian religions is a requirement in all of these courses and attendance at religious history events is essential. Up to the winter semester 2005/2006 it was possible to select “Religious Studies” as main or subsidiary subject for the Master’s degree.
Since the winter semester 2006/2007 it has been possible to study this subject in the double-subject BA, and since winter semester 2009/2010 this has also been possible in the MA.
Thematically, courses cover the extensive area of Religious Studies with teaching not only on religious history but also on systematic subjects.