Core Themes

Besides its general scientific program, the network initiates long-term scholarly projects on the following three core themes (CTs) that the members and partners find to be especially relevant both scientifically and politically:
Multiculturalism in Postsecular Europe: Rethinking the Framework
The rapid pluralisation of the European religious and socio-cultural scene generates serious dilemmas for the ways of politically accommodating elements of such diversity among the internally distinct European cultural and political contexts of these democratic nation states. It requires an effort from these societies to adequately cope with the new and ever evolving conditions. The network aims at innovatively contributing to the discussion of the social, political, anthropological, cultural, and legal aspects of the specifically problematic contemporary European situation.
Religion, Culture, Politics: Global Comparative Perspectives
The contemporary religio-political situation within democratic societies cannot be successfully analysed without an adequate understanding of the global perspectives of the problem. The third strategic research theme of the network is the comparative study of particular socio-cultural and political contexts, and on the different strategies concerning the political integration of culturally diverse and plural societies, with special attention to the problems and prospects of the specific religious aspects of these questions. For both scholarly and practical reasons, beyond Europe we have given special attention to the Indian subcontinent in this respect, but our present aim is to enlarge our scope to the USA on the one hand, and to the Mediterranean region on the other.

Religion, Culture, Late Modernity
Besides the political and social theoretical reflections on the late/post/hyper modern and "postsecular" perspectives, the network aims at inspiring intellectual discussion on the formation and origins, as well and the challenges of the complex contemporary situation. We execute interdisciplinary research on the fields of philosophy of culture, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, as well as the various disciplines of theology about related topics.
Political Thought in the Islamic World
The IRNRD serves as a forum for numerous scholars on Islam and politics for the systematic discussion of this essential problem. More details on this project coming soon. Members of the research group will create a panel on the Arab Spring conference of the New Delhi Conference Week in December 2012.

The Future of Political Theology
This research group has been created as a thematic follow up of earlier projects and publications by the network. The project aims at reflecting on the recent intensification of the interest in themes related to politics and religion, with a special focus on the complex contemporary developments that take shape in a specific ‘renaissance of political theology’. The main task of the project is to create a forum for junior, senior and leading scholars of the discipline and to discuss some important themes that are relevant for the contemporary discourse and can be influential in the further developments in political theology within the contemporary context.

Religion and International Relations: Challenges of the 21st Century
Over the last decade or so, the relevance of religion has gained more and more attention in IR literature. This is a development beget by the religious civil war in former Yugoslavia and, of course, the continuing “event” of 9/11. However, recent political developments like the Arab Spring demonstrate that these issues will persist on the international agenda and likewise religion in the state-of-the-art of IR. The network will take an active role in theorising and conceptualising religion in a world where the national state no longer holds the line between “peoples”, but religious civilisations play an ever increasing role. The problem of fundamentalism should be given a special attention in this regard.