The scientific study of religion (in German Religionswissenschaft) is an academic discipline which takes an historical, philological, and sociological approach towards the different world religions.
While theology seeks to make statements about a supernatural force or "transcendence" (commonly referred to as "God" or the "gods"), the scientific study of religion takes a neutral stance outside any particular religious viewpoint. In keeping with the approach of the discipline, not "God" or the "god(s)" are subject of scientific research, but rather the beliefs and ideas human beings have about their God/gods.
At the Freie Universität Berlin, the department focuses on European tradition since Greek Antiquity, although the cultural traditions and developments of both scriptural and non-scriptural non-European religions are also subjects of reasearch.
Against the broad backdrop of academic examination complemented by a historical-anthropological and material-hermeneutic basis, scholars at the Institute critically examine the principles, theories and methods relevant to the study of religion. They thus analyze specific religious and cultural developments as well as processes of the transference and transformation of religious beliefs and practices. This allows for serious research on the cultural - that is, artistic, social, and political - contexts of religious expression.
Nadine Kirschnick, Room 0.1001
Tel. (030) 838 52822
Fax. (030) 838 452 822
Alexandra Stellmacher, Room 0.1007
Tel. (030) 838 58159
Fax. (030) 838 458 159
Office hours in Summer Semester 2017: Tuesday 15:00–16:00. Important: please sign up in advance by writing an e-mail to Prof. Goedde at email@example.com.
Prof. Renger's administrative team can be reached under firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours for students during the semester are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 11:00–13:00 in Room 0.1007 and by appointment.
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To contact Prof. Schlesier, please send an e-mail to email@example.com with a clear indication of what you wish to discuss. Office hours, available by appointment only, are generally held from 15:00–16:00 during the semester; office hours outside of the semester will be announced at that time.
Office hours are by appointment only. To arrange an appointment, please send an e-mail to Prof. Zinser at firstname.lastname@example.org.