Collaborative Research Centre 1136

Education and Religion in Cultures of the Mediterranean and Its Environment from Ancient to Medieval Times and to the Classical Islam

The Collaborative Research Centre investigates constellations of education and religion in Greco-Roman religion, Judaism, Christianity and Islam from the 5th century BCE to the 13th century CE. Research is guided by the assumption that investigating the relationship of education and religion will provide deeper insights into cultural, social, and religious dynamics which were fundamental in these cultures and religions; moreover, this research agenda will also be instrumental in revealing the historical roots of contemporary debates about education and religion. ‘Education’ will be conceptualized by differentiating processes of socialisation, education and the development of critical reflection on God, the world, and the self. ‘Religion’ comprises discourses, practices, and institutions which are based on the presupposition of the relationship to a being beyond human everyday experience. These concepts allow for an analysis of phenomena and constellations, employing typological as well as genealogical comparisons. This will be pursued within four project areas:

A  Storehouses of Education

investigates institutional aspects paradigmatically by focusing on libraries and compendia, and their entanglement with cults and religious practices. Read more ...

B  Interpretations

deals with the exegesis of scriptures considered holy with regard to its hermeneutical principles and methods and their cross-cultural application. Read more ...

C  Communications

analyzes teaching processes and didactic aims of religious education with a special focus on questions of agency and gender. Read more ...

D  Discourses

investigates the discursive establishment and refinement of conceptions of God, the world, and the human self, referring to education and to other cultures of religions. Read more ...

The tableau of academic disciplines involves Classics, Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies, New Testament Studies and Church History as well as Religious Studies and Islamic Studies, Christian Oriental Studies, Medieval History and Pedagogics of Religion.

The Collaborative Research Centre “Education and Religion” received funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) since July 1, 2015, for an initial period of four years. The application for a continuation of another four years was denied by the DFG, in spite of the unanimous recommendation of the reviewers for continued funding. Therefore, the CRC will terminate after a final one-year period by June 30, 2020.

Book Series SERAPHIM

Studies in Education and Religion in Ancient and Pre-Modern History in the Mediterranean Its Environs

The reciprocal relationship between education and religion in ancient and pre-modern times was either a fruitful or conflict-laden one. By taking a look at this tension, new perspectives on educational achievements and religious developments as well as related cultural, social and political constellations are opened up. The series Studies in Education and Religion in Ancient and Pre-Modern History in the Mediterranean and Its Environs documents research in this field. While closely connected to Göttingen University’s Collaborative Research Centre “Education and Religion in Cultures of the Mediterranean and Its Environment from Ancient to Medieval Times and to the Classical Islam”, and its neighbouring disciplines (Old and New Testament Studies, Church History, Pedagogics of Religious, Classical Philology, Coptic Studies, Christian Oriental Studies, Classical Archaeology, Ancient and Medieval History, and Religious Studies as well as Arabic and Islamic Studies), the SERAPHIM series encompasses further related disciplines. Historical occurrences are examined against the horizon of topical issues in a bid to stir up and inspire thought on education and religion in the here and now.

The book series “SERAPHIM” will be continued even after the termination of the CRC. The editors welcome monographs and collected volumes on any topics of education and religion in pre-modern times. Any inquiries should be directed to the managing editor Peter Gemeinhardt.

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Work on the promotion of equal opportunities in the CRC “Education and Religion” aims at

  • increasing the percentage of female scholars with regard to all levels of qualification, especially focussing on the critical stage between PhD and professorship,
  • establishing structures and working conditions which further social inclusion,
  • creating a family-friendly environment which makes it easier to combine academic work and family life,
  • raising an awareness of the importance of equal opportunities among the members of the CRC
  • embedding the topic of gender equality in the CRC´s research programme.

To this end, the staff responsible for equal opportunities

  • offers counselling and provides relevant information
  • organises workshops and training on topics such as work-life-balance, career planning, compatibility of career and family, mentoring, coaching, networking, raising awareness, childcare facilities
  • ascertains the individual requirements of the members of the CRC

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Collaborative Research Centre 1136


The CRC is directed by Prof. Dr. Peter Gemeinhardt as spokesperson.

Veranstaltungen & Neuigkeiten

New Book in the SERAPHIM-Series

Volume no. 11 in SERAPHIM is out now: Paul and Moses. The Exodus and Sinai Traditions in the Letters of Paul, ed. by  Florian Wilk, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2020.

Traditions about Moses related to the exodus and Sinai are intensively used and interpreted in the Pauline letters. This volume offers multi-perspective analyses of the relevant passages that take into consideration the question of the relationship between education/formation and religion and open up new insights into the meaning of scripture for the apostle's ethics and self-conception.
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New Book in the SERAPHIM-Series

Volume no. 9 in SERAPHIM is out now: Autorität im Spannungsfeld von Bildung und Religion, ed. by  Peter Gemeinhardt and Tanja S. Scheer, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2020.

Constructions of authority played an important role in education in pre-modern cultures, where they supported claims of truth and aided the transfer of religious knowledge. By venturing onto this field of tension and competing interests, the contributions in this volume garner insights into the inner dynamics of cultures in and around the Mediterranean.
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New Publications

Two studies based on the research results of the CRC have been published: 

Peter Gemeinhardt, „Den Heiden eine Torheit“? Bildung im paulinischen Schrifttum und im frühen Christentum, in: Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie 35 (2020), p. 209–239.

Peter Gemeinhardt, Bildung – Theologie – Bildungsreligion: Christentumsgeschichtliche Perspektiven, in: Bildung, ed. Bernd Schröder (Themen der Theologie 14), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2021, p. 65–103.

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New Releases in the SERAPHIM Series

Volumes 10, 13 und 14 of the SERAPHIM-Series have been published:

SERPAHIM 10: Lesen, Deuten und Verstehen?! Debatten über heilige Texte in Orient und Okzident, ed. by  Sebastian Günther and Florian Wilk, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2020.

SERPAHIM 13: Religion and Education in the Ancient Greek World, ed. by  Irene Salvo and Tanja S. Scheer, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2021.

SERPAHIM 14: Islamic Ethics as Educational Discourse. Thought and Impact of the Classical Muslim Thinker Miskawayh (d. 1030), ed. by  Sebastian Günther and Yassir El Jamouhi, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2021.

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