Research project: "Religious Fundamentalism"

After the end of the Research project "Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion", the topic Religious Fundamentalism became a main focus of the research of the platform. Since the "Fundamentalism Project" of the 1980s and 1990s, the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism is subject of ongoing scientific research. A wide range of approaches has already tried to examine this phenomenon and its even newer developments in the realm. However, the religious reactions to fundamentalistic movements have hardly been explored so far. Especially the internal debates of religious communities about fundamentalisms has often been disregarded.

To re-initate research on the topic, the International Congress "Religious Fundamentalism" was organised by the research platform on November 4-6, 2015. After conceptual clarifications, some contemporary manifestations and movements of religious fundamentalisms were discussed, educational challenges were determined, religious arguments against fundamentalism were analysed and corresponding political and civil societal concepts were introduced. In the course of the congress, a panel discussion was organised about „Islamistische Radikalisierung von Jugendlichen in Europa: wissenschaftliche Analysen und politische Lösungsansätze“, which was open for a broader audience. Verena Fabris, Gudrun Harrer, Peter Neumann and Mouhanad Khorchide spoke on the panel.
Besides the illustration of several fundamentalistic positions and civil societal reactions to them, the event therefore focused on the question as to what religious resources the different religions can draw on to resist fundamentalist drifts within their own traditions. Altogether the internationality and interdisciplinarity of the speakers and disputants made it possible to consider the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism from a variety of perspectives.

In interdisciplinary cooperations and (geo-)political, sociological, legal and theological analyses with regards to their roots, forms and developments in transformation processes of contemporary societies, this research forcus was continued in the form of several projects. Two of These Projects were „Vienna Observatory of Applied Research on Terrorism and Extremism" (VORTEX) and „Liberal Tolerance? To the political dealing with freedom of speech and freedom of Religion in shock of religiously motivated violence".


Events and publications of this project:

We thank the "Zukunftsfond der Republik Österreich" for the financial support!