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Current Cooperative research

Current Coordinated Programmes (DFG and BMBF)

Some topics can only be explored jointly with international partners. The ongoing collaborative projects create a suitable framework for the interdisciplinary cooperation of the scientists involved, the exchange with non-university and international cooperation partners and the transfer of knowledge into practice.

The International Research Consortium aims to uncover the historical foundations of prognostication with their impact on our immediate present and our way of coping with the future. This approach will enable us to find new answers to the question of whether different views on fate and strategies of coping with destiny in Chinese modernity or the medieval European past constitute a characteristic difference from Western modernity.


In premodern societies of Europe and Asia, the sacred character of actions, objects, spaces, and persons was repeatedly asserted, but also doubted and rejected. On the basis of the observation that sacrality was seldom clearly defined, but rather highly controversial, and thus had to be always renewed, the research group asks about the dealings with the sacred in Europe and Asia in the premodern period. The aim of the project is a comparative study of both Christian and non-Christian concepts of holiness in different European and Asian cultural spaces as reflected in texts and images, in architecture and spatial design, in personality cults and ruling models, or in performative acts.
The focus of the research project is the question of how holiness is constituted. This is based on the notion that sacralization is to be understood as a process of ascription and engineering, which varies greatly depending on the context. References between different media, the relationship between institutionalization and the de-institutionalization of holiness as well as the tension between individually legitimate and collectively binding, church-like “canonization” are therefore of particular interest to the project.
The methodological approach of intercultural and intermedial cross-epochal comparisons makes it possible to study sacrality both in its historical changeability and systematically. Above all, the confrontation of Christian-determined cultures of Europe with India and China intended in the project promises to develop the consciousness for structural similarities and differences across epoch boundaries and the boundaries of religions and confessions.

DFG-FOR 1533

The research training group investigates culturally divergent forms and functions of presence and tacit knowledge, integrating cultural studies approaches to presence with social sciences approaches to tacit knowledge. The two concepts can only be properly understood, we argue, from a perspective that acknowledges that they are intrinsically linked, if not mutually dependent: tacit knowledge becomes most tangible in experiences of presence, while such experiences, in turn, tend to result in a surplus (or sedimentation) of tacit knowledge. Most importantly, both concepts and the phenomena they describe are understood to be culturally specific and are addressed with regard to intracultural distinction and (inter)cultural difference, at times in a comparative framework. Aspects of affect, power relations, and historicity play a large role in our endeavors. Based on a long-term, successful cooperation among the participating scholars, the program is characterized by an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and professional training. The participating doctoral researchers analyze phenomena of presence (in religion, the arts, politics, or society at large) that may not be explicated or explicable in everyday discourse as indicative of tacit knowledge in its widest sense. While some projects focus on intracultural phenomena, others engage in intercultural comparison. Combining theoretical inquiry and intercultural expertise, the research training group draws on and contributes to the well-established focus on critical area studies at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg.

DFG Grako 1718

The research alliance Capital4Health stands for “opportunities for an active lifestyle: a research network for interactive exchange of knowledge in health promotion”. The alliance aims at the development and exploration of possibilities for active life styles with different age groups and multipliers. By means of innovative approaches to interactive knowledge exchange, it is also important to ensure that the conditions of movement are more sustainable in terms of health, in order to reach people in their living, educational and working milieu.

The network consists of research facilities (university and non-university, national and international) as well as practice and policy partners. Five empirical subprojects, which are located in Bavaria and are networked both nationally and internationally, develop, implement and evaluate interventions to promote mobility. They aim at target groups of the entire life span, address different professional actors as well as structural capacities in relevant settings: The subproject QueB refers to crèches, Health.Edu to the school, PArc-ave to the company training, action for men to the municipality and PATEN to the retirement home. Two cross-sectional projects aim at contributing to the theory, methodology and evaluation of approaches in the field of action for active lifestyles and interactive knowledge exchange.