History of Religions is focused on the issues of religious cross-pollination, coexistence and conflict with particular emphasis on Europe and the Middle East. Addressed in a long historical perspective stretching from Antiquity to the early modern period, the programme seeks to illuminate the roots of present peaceful coexistence and interchange, as well as of today's antagonisms and conflicts.
The underlying idea of the programme is that, in order to fully grasp current religious conflicts and alliances, we need to understand how the perceptions of past and present are intertwined, reciprocally dependent and constantly reshaped.
- How are sacred texts used and abused?
- How can a religious war be just?
- What are the historical roots of the commonalities shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam?
- How did religious groups, ideas and artefacts travel from one continent to another and how did that migration transform them?
In other words, how did religious conflicts and encounters shape the modern world and why do they still matter today?