Monday, 13 April 2015

'Religion in the Roman Empire' - New journal in the History of Religion

The first issue of a new journal dedicated to “Religion in the Roman Empire” (RRE) is out. “Individual appropriation in lived ancient religion” is the title of the first issue of 130 pages. The articles focus on methodologies to reconstruct individual appropriations of traditions, religious experiences and communication on religion in different social spaces. Such perspectives, standard in approaches on recent and contemporary religion, are facing serious challenges when addressing the material available for ancient Mediterranean religion. New methods are developed in case studies on Mithraic representations, practices of sacralizing space at Italian Ostia, consumption of religion in Egyptian Karanis or rituals and their literary reflections at Rome. 

The new journal, published by Mohr Siebeck, intends to further and document new and integrative perspectives on religion in the Ancient World combining multidisciplinary methodologies. Starting from the notion of “lived religion” it will offer a space to take up recent, but still incipient, research to modify and cross the disciplinary boundaries of “History of Religion”, “Archaeology”, “Anthropology”, “Classics”, “Ancient History”, “Jewish History”, “Rabbinics”,  “New Testament”, “Early Christianity”, “Patristics”, “Coptic Studies”, “Gnostic and Manichean Studies”, “Late Antiquity” and “Oriental Languages”. The editors, based at European and American universities hope to stimulate the development of new approaches that can encompass the local and global trajectories of the multi-dimensional pluralistic religions of antiquity. The editorial office is based at the Max Weber Center of the University of Erfurt and can be reached via See also

New Research Centre for the Study of Ritual Practices in Judaism at the Max-Weber-Centre, Erfurt University

The new research centre at the Max-Weber-Centre, University of Erfurt, will address the dynamics of ritual practices in Judaism. The research project is funded by the Federal Ministry of education and research with over a million euros and will run for five years. The project is run by religion and cultural theorists, theologian and musicologists, Prof. Dr. Benedikt Kranemann, Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke, and Prof. Dr. Martin Mulsow, all of the University of Erfurt, and Professor Dr. Jascha Nemtsov from the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar.

"The project enables new trajectories for the study of religious practices and a more intensive international networking for theology and religious studies. The approval of the project is a push to expand the religion-related research in Erfurt even further, explains Prof. Kranemann who is the spokesman of the University’s focus research cluster on religion. Collaboration with institutions for the study of Judaism in Germany and abroad will be expanded in the course of the centre’s work. The project is located at the Max-Weber-Centre in collaboration with the Theological Faculty and the Centre of research at Gotha, University of Erfurt.

Participating scientists and scholars from home and abroad will examine rituals in religious or culturally pluralistic contexts. Also, practice, history, and the interpretation of such rituals will be explored. Liturgies, other rituals such as reading and learning religious texts or dealing with calendars will be available in the Centre. In addition to texts, in particular rituals, music, space and images will be looked at. An innovative edge is given through continuous comparison with other religious traditions present in the groups and institutions. Erfurt scholars expect to discover more than just new insights for their own areas of research, and to broaden the existing interdisciplinarity of the Max-Weber-Centre. Thematic focusses are late antiquity, the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the period from the nineteenth century to the present, where Jewish rituals, sociology and economics will be studied. A goal of the project is to scholarly reflection upon ritual and religious practice of Judaism, a topic that is often marginalized in the study of religions.

Internationally renowned scientists and scholars will be ask to cooperate as Fellows, interacting with existing and new doctoral students in Erfurt. The participating scholars will publish their research results and also make it available for the broader public. Networking with the various Jewish institutions and facilities in Erfurt is also planned.

More information / contact:
Prof. Dr. Benedikt Kranemann
+ 49 361 737-2566