RUB » CERES » Käte Hamburger Kolleg » Publications » Dynamics in the History of Religions

Dynamics in the History of Religions

The Series

Trying to overcome cultural stereotypes and their ideological misuse, the series "Dynamics in the History of Religions" publishs the important findings of the research by the internationally renowed Käte Hamburger Kolleg "Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe" at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. The volumes focuses on the crucial role of mutual encounters in the origins, development, and internal differentiation of the major religious traditions. The primary thesis of the series consists in the assumption that interconnections of self-perception and perception by the other, of adaptation and demarcation are crucial factors for historical dynamics within the religious field. The series is published by Brill.

Titles in the series

DHR1: Dynamics in the History of Religions, ed. by Volkhard Krech and Marion Steinicke

This first volume of the series "Dynamics in the History of Religions" reviews the opening conference of the "Käte Hamburger Kolleg" at the Ruhr-University Bochum. The first section concentrates on the formation of what later came to be termed "world religions" through inter-religious contact, the second part focuses on the significance of interreligious contacts also during their expansive phase. Methodological problems of multi-perspective research and especially the lack of a general religious terminology are discussed in the third chapter, while the final papers outline various aspects of secularization and (re-)sacralization in the age of globalization as an effect of multicultural contacts in a world wide web of religious interferences.

  • Krech, Volkhard and Marion Steinicke. Dynamics in the History of Religions: Encounters, Notions, and Comparative Perspectives. Dynamics in the History of Religions 1. Leiden: Brill, 2011. ISBN: 9789004185005.

DHR2: Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks, by Jason Neelis

This exploration of early paths for Buddhist transmission within and beyond South Asia retraces the footsteps of monks, merchants, and other agents of cross-cultural exchange. A reassessment of literary, epigraphic, and archaeological sources reveals hisorical contexts for the growth of the Buddhist saṅgha from approximately the 5th century BCE to the end of the first millennium CE. Patterns of dynamic Buddhist mobility were closely linked to transregional trade networks extending to the northwestern borderlands and joined to Central Asian silk routes by capillary routes through transit zones in the upper Indus and Tarim Basin. By examining material conditions for Buddhist establishments at nodes along these routes, this book challenges models of gradual diffusion and develops alternative explanations for successful Buddhist movement.

  • Neelis, Jason. Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks: Mobility and Exchange within and beyond the Northwestern Borderlands of South Asia. Dynamics in the History of Religions 2. Leiden: Brill, 2010. ISBN: 9789004181595.

DHR3: Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions, ed. by Christian Frevel and Christoph Nihan

Purity is a cultural construct that had a central role in the forming and the development of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean. This volume analyzes concepts, practices and images associated with purity in the main cultures of Antiquity, and discusses from a comparative perspective their parallel developments and transformations. The perspective adopted is both synchronic and diachronic; the comparative approach takes into account points of contact and mutual influences, but also includes major transcultural trends. A number of renowned specialists contribute a large variety of perspectives and approaches, combining archaeology, epigraphy and social history; in addition, particular attention is given to concepts of purity in ancient Israel and early Judaism as a ‘test-case’ of sorts. Through its extensive coverage, the volume contributes decisively to the present discussion about the forming of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean world.

  • Frevel, Christian and Christophe Nihan. Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World and Ancient Judaism. Dynamics in the History of Religions 3. Leiden: Brill, 2012. ISBN: 9789004232105.

DHR4: Religion and Secularity, ed. by Marion Eggert and Lucian Hölscher

Religion and Secularity traces the history of the conceptual binary of religion and secularity in Europe and the repercussions it had in other regions and cultures of the Eurasian continent during the age of imperialism and beyond. Twelve authors from a wide range of disciplines deal in their contributions with the trajectory, the concepts of „religion“ and „secularity/secularization“ took, as well as with the corresponding re-configurations of the religious field in a variety of cultures in Europe, the Near and Middle East, South Asia and East Asia. Taken together, these in-depth studies provide a broad comparative perspective on a phenomenon that has been crucial for the development of globalized modernity and its regional interpretations.

  • Eggert, Marion and Lucian Hölscher. Religion and Secularity: Transformations and Transfers of Religious Discourses in Europe and Asia. Dynamics in the History of Religions in Europe 4. Leiden: Brill, 2013. ISBN: 9789004251328.

DHR5: Religions and Trade; hrsg. von Peter Wick und Volker Rabens

In Religions and Trade a number of international scholars investigate the ways in which eastern and western religions were formed and transformed from the perspective of "trade." Trade changes religions. Religions expand through the help of trade infrastructures, and religions extend and enrich the trade relations with cultural and religious “commodities” which they contribute to the “market place” of human culture and religion. This leads to the inclusion, demarcation and densification as well as the amalgamation of religious traditions. In an attempt to find new pathways into the world of religious dynamics, this collection of essays focuses on four elements or "commodities" of religious interchange: topologies of religious space, religious symbol systems, religious knowledge, and religious-ethical ways of life.

DHR6: Religious Discourse in Modern Japan. Religion, State, and Shintō, by Isomae Jun'ichi

This volume explores the introduction of the Western concept of “religion” to Japan in the modern era, and the emergence of discourse on Shintō, philosophy, and Buddhism. Taking Anesaki’s founding of religious studies (shukyogaku) at Tokyo Imperial University as a pivot, Isomae examines the evolution of this academic discipline in the changing context of social conditions from the Meiji era through the present. Special attention is given to the development of Shintō studies/history of Shintō, and the problems of State Shintō and the emperor system are described in relation to the nature of the concept of religion. Isomae also explains how the discourse of religious studies developed in connection with secular discourses on literature and history, including Marxism.

  • Isomae Jun'ichi: Religious Discourse in Modern Japan. Religion, State, and Shintō. Translated by Galen Amstutz and Lynne E. Riggs; Dynamics in the History of Religions 6. Leiden: Brill, 2014. ISBN: 9789004272613

DHR7: Discourses of Purity in Transcultural Perspective (300-1600), HRSG. VON Matthias Bley, Nikolas Jaspert und Stefan Köck

While comparative studies on purity and impurity presented in the last decades have mostly concentrated on the ancient world or on modern developments, this volume focusses the hitherto comparatively neglected period between ca. 300 and 1600 c. E. The collection is innovative because it not only combines papers on both European and Asian cultures but also considers a wide variety of religions and confessions. The articles are written by leading experts in the field and are presented in six systematic sections. This analytical categorization facilitates understanding the functional spectrum that the binomial purity and impurity could cover in past societies. The volume thus presents an in-depth comparative analysis of a category of paramount importance for interfaith relations and processes of transfer.

  • Matthias Bley, Nikolas Jaspert, Stefan Köck, Hg. Discourses of Purity in Transcultural Perspective. Dynamics in the History of Religions 7. Leiden: Brill, 2015. ISBN: 9789004289741