History of Religions and World Christianity
Religious traditions relate to each other in different ways. In today’s global world practices, rituals and ideas are formed, confronted and discussed within different traditions, between traditions and in the societies where the traditions exist. Religious traditions also influence and are influenced by various political philosophies such as, for example, nationalism and liberalism. At the same time as contemporary religions change they build on older rituals, texts and understandings. In a historical perspective we can study change, conflicts, communication, thoughts and aesthetic expressions within different religions.
Within the specialisation History of Religions studies focus primarily on how religious practices, symbols and understandings are developed in different contexts. History of Religions focuses on studies of older religious source texts and material culture as well as contemporary reception of these. Methods used are primarily philology, concept analysis and aesthetic analysis.
The specialisation Global Christianity has an international perspective. Focus lies on studies of Christian churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We study the churches’ theologies, their meetings with cultures, political systems and movements as well as their relations to other religious traditions. We also study connections between churches in the global South and North, for example in the form of migration and conversions, various mission initiatives and involvement in the form of activism and development collaborations.
In the History of Religions and Global Christianity we are currently carrying out research on:
- Antique religions in the Mediterranean world from the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Mesopotamia to the time of the Roman Empire.
- Religions of South and East Asia from the earliest written sources to the present day.
- Jewish life in history and the present day.
- Meetings between religions and religious dialog in history and the present day.
- Church life in Africa, Asia and Latin America from the 1800s to the present.
- Conversions between different religious traditions.
- Religion and transnational expressions of culture.
- Religion and nationalism.
Christian faith and political engagement.
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