New CERES publication: Stepping Back and Looking Ahead: Twelve Years of Studying Religious Contact at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Bochum
The anthology Stepping Back and Looking Ahead: Twelve Years of Studying Religious Contact at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg Bochum unites a broad range of contributions that emerged out of the 2021 final conference of the Bochum Käte Hamburger Kolleg "Dynamics in the History of Religions Between Asia and Europe" (KHK). Edited by CERES scholars Maren Freudenberg, Frederik Elwert, Tim Karis, Martin Radermacher, and Jens Schlamelcher, it casts a look both backwards to the work within the KHK and forward to the future of the field, bringing together contributions by scholars formerly involved in the KHK as well as scholars joining the discussion with “fresh” perspectives.
Over the past 12+ years, the KHK turned Bochum into a significant place to engage in the study of religious contact. The KHK has focused on the formation and expansion of religions, the mutual permeation of religious traditions, and their consolidation into the complex figurations often problematically called “world religions.” This volume gathers contributions from the final conference of the KHK. Instead of simply taking stock of the research done at the KHK, it has a twofold aim. The first is to reflect on the theoretical paradigms and methodological approaches that have informed the research in the framework of the KHK since its beginnings in 2008. In an opening chapter, KHK founding director Volkhard Krech elaborates on the KHK’s academic goal to establish and test a typology of contacts of religions and an overarching theory regarding the transfer of religions between Europe and Asia from Antiquity until the present day, thereby presenting its potential as well as the challenges it brought to the work of the KHK. In the following contribution, Max Deeg, former KHK fellow, applies the approach to his own empirical material.
The volume’s second aim is to look beyond the specific work of the KHK and consider how its approaches and paradigms resonate with the study of religion and related disciplines more generally. Will they continue to shape the field in the future, and in what ways? What other promising avenues of researching religions are on the horizon in 2022? The contributions are structured in accordance with a fourfold distinction of religious dimensions, which has also informed the work of the KHK: knowledge, experience, action, and materiality. In the knowledge section, contributions focus on scholarly approaches primarily related to issues of religious doctrine and semantics (James L. Cox, Darlene Juschka). In the experience section, Jens Schlieter and Ophira Gamliel focus on the sensory and perceptional dimension of religion.
Heidi Campbell and Tim Weitzel, in the section on the dimension of action, discuss issues related to religious practice, including the growing importance of digital religion. In the materiality section, Birgit Meyer and Ruth Tsuria discuss prospects for research on the role of material objects and the body in religion. The volume closes with three contributions by Katerine Baunvig, Eviatar Shulman, and Luther H. Martin that reflect on computational methods and other methodologies that played a role in the KHK but can be expected to become ever more important moving forward.
To download the publication click https://brill.com/display/title/62358.