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Europe and Religion: Social Dynamics and Transnational Perspectives

Curriculum presentation

The question of religion has returned to the fore of public debate at both the nation-state and European level (consider controversies over the religious and secular dimensions of national identities and the European identity; debates about Islam; religious education in schools; sectarian deviation; gay marriage and adoption rights; issues and controversies in bioethics, etc.). This is reflected in academic research on the state of religion in Europe in a globalized world.
In the debate on the retreat of secularism, which also addresses the question of the "European exception", some even speak of "desecularization" and of "post-secular societies". Rich in traditions in this field of study, Europe is also made up of countries where political, cultural and religious histories are intertwined in very different ways. At a time when Europe is focussing on building a knowledge-based society, and when national differences nevertheless remain strong in this area, receiving academic training in Berlin, Budapest, Florence and Paris in topics regarding Europe and Religion is a considerable asset for Ph.D. students.

The programme 'Europe and Religion: Social Dynamics and Transnational Perspectives' relates to research in the contemporary world (19th to 21st centuries) and concentrates on a multi-disciplinary study of processes of change, transfiguration, and re-compositions of the religious. Students will receive their doctoral training through seminars held by contemporary historians, sociologists, anthropologists and philosophers, with interventions - where appropriate - from specialists in political science and law whose interests include religion. The studies are not limited to institutionalized religion, but include all social forms of religious life at the collective and individual level.
Reflecting the diverse background and academic foci of the five partner institutions, different approaches and perspectives will be used for the study of the various aspects of contemporary religion. Students attend, in the different partner institutions, the research seminars or courses organized for them according to the academic calendar compiled by the Programme Director. This calendar consists of two six-week periods (= 72 teaching hours in each period) per year for the first two years of the doctoral programme. The topics of these six-week periods are:

  1. Religion, Modernity, Secularization (Paris, EHESS, EPHE)
  2. State, Religion, Politics (Florence, SUM)
  3. Social Structures of the Religious (Budapest, CEU)
  4. Circulations of the Religious (Berlin, HU)

The courses will be held on a rotating basis at the five partner institutions.

Jean-Paul Willaime, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Central European University, Budapest

Representatives of the other institutions:
Ernesto Galli della Loggia, Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, Florence
Daniéle Hervieu-Léger, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Hans-Peter Müller, Humboldt-Universität Berlin

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