Science of Religion in Basel
Science of Religion incorporates cultural studies and social studies. It describes "religion" with scientific detachment and compares its cultural and social aspects as well as its communicative, media and sensory facets.
Science of Religion in Basel focuses on four branches, which receive special attention in both research and teaching:
- History of European Religion, especially of the 19th and 20th century
- Contemporary History of Religion, in accordance with the French model, meaning the period from the French Revolution to the present day
- Cultural Theory of Religion
- Economics of Religion
These branches take in other related areas: For example, the reception history of Buddhism in the West, the relationship between politics, law and religion; between science and religion; and religion research from the point of view of discourse analysis, media science and psychology.
In Basel, research into the history of religion has a long tradition going back to the 19th century, and been represented by such prominent figures as J.J. Bachofen, J. Burckhardt and F. Overbeck. Back in 1904 the second international congress on the general history of religion took place in Basel. The newly established Science of Religion is picking up on these traditions once more.
In organisational terms, the Sub-department of Science of Religion - like Islamic Studies and Jewish Studies - is part of the interfaculty Department of Science of Religion, which is under both the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Arts.