Ancient Religion(s) in Contact: Contemporary Religious Phenomena and Their Ancient Predecessors

The teaching-learning-project "Ancient Religion(s) in Contact" (ARELINCO) enables students from the fields of religious studies, history, archaeology, philology, and related disciplines to combine historical research on religion with online publishing and knowledge transfer. The participants will carry out a teaching-learning-project with the thematic focus "Religious Contact between East and West" and publish its results online on a joint project website. The research project is aimed at advanced B.A. as well as M.A. students who have sophisticated knowledge in the fields relevant to the project they plan to develop. Furthermore, the future participants should be interested in combining their historical research on religion with knowledge transfer/public outreach and digital humanities.

The project's thematic framework comprises examining contemporary religious contact and conflict situations between Europe and the Near East and their possible precursors in antiquity. The students will explore distinctive case studies to illustrate the similarities and differences existed in regard to religious contacts in antiquity and the present. However, the focus of the examination should primarily lie on the historical case study. The comparative diachronic view should help to understand and classify contemporary conflicts adequately, such as the ongoing public discussions on religious dress-codes, religiously motivated violence, and processes of general inter-religious exchange and amalgamation.

One major novelty of the course’s format is that the students not only write a scientific paper on a topic that they can locate within the thematic framework but also publish it together with the other students online on the project website to make it available to a broader audience.

The research project consists of three parts:

  1. Firstly, the students write a research paper focused on a historically oriented case study. The report should deal with processes of religious contact and conflict between Europe and the Near East and establish references to current events (research part).
  2. Secondly, the students should prepare their selected topic in the context of the subjects developed by other students and make it accessible to a broader non-expert audience (knowledge transfer/public outreach).
  3. In a third step, the prepared research results should be published online on a project website and thus be made accessible to a broader audience (digital humanities/online publishing).

The student research projects are accompanied by a close supervision of the lecturers, by regular meetings during the summer semester 2021, and by a three-part workshop series dealing with website creation, knowledge transfer/public outreach, and online publishing. The course aims to intensify the students' competence in historical and religious studies and provide them with knowledge in web design, online publishing, and knowledge transfer, enabling them to make their research digitally accessible to a wider audience.


04/2021 – 09/2021

Funded by

The Rectorate of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum


Affiliated Persons

Photograph of Dr. Thomas Jurczyk

Dr. Thomas Jurczyk

Project Leader

Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 2.11
+49 234 32-21684
Photograph of PD Dr. Rosel Pientka-Hinz

PD Dr. Rosel Pientka-Hinz

Project Leader

Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 3.14
+49 234 32-21969
Photograph of Dr. Jens Schlamelcher

Dr. Jens Schlamelcher

Research Associate

Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 1.06
+49 234 32-24807