Mattia Vicentini

Mattia Vicentini is a doctoral student in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University with a research project entitled "Sacramentality as a form of a hermeneutic of history". He has a master's degree in Philosophy at the Università degli Studi di Trento, a master's degree in Philosophy at the TU Dresden as well as in Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is currently at the research centre RaT in order to do research for his doctoral project.


His research is a fundamental theological work within the context of the theology of history starting from some of its aporias. By taking into consideration some classic categories of reflection, he wants to re-elaborate them in a historical-hermeneutic key with particular attention to their practicability. The field of the reworked questions is identified as sacramentality. It is sacramentality, thanks to its theoretical and practical, concrete and transcendental being, a unitary dimension of the human and the divine, that represents the religious fact in history.


A particular attention is paid to the method, which is intimately connected to the purpose of the work. The primary bibliography has a interdisciplinary character. Among others, Maurice Blondel, Pierre Bourdieu, Henri-Irénée Marrou and Chrisptoph Theobald are considered.

Francesco Porchia

Francesco Porchia is a PhD student in Ethics of Communication, Scientific Research and Technological Innovation at the University of Perugia and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Vienna.

In his research project, he investigates the theme of existence starting from F.W.J. Schelling, dwelling on the concepts of life and death in the Philosophie der Offenbarung: these concepts are not contradictory, but can be useful for rediscovering the relationship between the human being and the foundation.

According to this approach, death does not only constitute the end of life, and so it is not possible to consider life as a determination of the individual's will to dominate the world.

Through the concept of revelation, the most personal act of God, it is possible to rediscover a new sense of these concepts in which death is understood as a possibility and in which life is re-evaluated thanks to the reflections conducted on the relationship between the human being and the foundation. The research aims to propose possible contributions to an ethics of communication from a theoretically oriented perspective. Thus, starting from the search for God as a person, the common personal side of human beings can be rediscovered.

Lorenzo Ruggerini

Lorenzo Ruggerini wrote his Master Thesis in cooperation with RaT. He examined the theological aesthetic developed by Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988). See his abstract below:

Title: The beauty in the world: a philosophical reading of H.U. von Balthasar's Aesthetic Theology


In this thesis I carry out a philosophical reconsideration of the theological aesthetic developed by Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988) concerning the form and the matter of the divine Being’s disclosure in transcendental beauty.

Hence, It delves deeply into the meaning of the trinitary expression as a complete and eternal form of expression of each divine Person towards the others, of creatural beauty as a limited but beautiful image grounded on God’s infinite transcendence and of Jesus Christ as concreta analogia entis. This allows to further examine the Balthasarian characterization of the creatural nature as limited, determined and incidental in such a way that will become problematic in the light of the philosophical reconsideration of the phenomenon of beauty. Subsequently I argue the philosophical inability to observe in the worldly realm of being the distinction between existence and essence and, hence, the difference between limited creatural being and unlimited divine Being abridged by the analogia entis formulation.

Dr. Nataliia Reva


Dr. Reva obtained her PhD in Philosophy from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in 2021. Her doctoral research focused on the intersection between the philosophy of logic and cognitive science. Dr. Reva was awarded a JESH Scholarship by the Austrian Academy of Science and spent July and August 2022 as a Visiting Researcher at our research centre RaT.

In her current research she focusses on the topic of “Evil and Suffering in the World” with specific attention to the concept of the embodiment of evil and how to find resilient strategies in coping with it. She proposes to study evil not as an abstract philosophical concept, but as a real-life threat that can we be felt and therefore studied empirically. The areas of her research interests are philosophy of religion, informal logic, critical thinking, experimental philosophy and cognitive science.

Sumit Sonkar

Sumit Sonkar is a Ph.D. Candidate at Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His thesis topic, “Progressive Constitutionalism in India: Examining Women’s Right to Access Hindu Temples and its Societal Harmonization,” examines how the Supreme Court of India has recognized women’s right to worship and how it can be made more socially acceptable from a gender equality perspective. Currently, he is visiting the Centre in the capacity of Visiting Research Fellow on Ernst Mach-Stipendien, Eurasia-Pacific Uninet Grant, 2021, funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF), under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Holzleithner.

Muhammad Machasin

Dr. Muhammad Machasin ist Professor für die Geschichte islamischer Kulturen an der Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN) Yogyakarta, Indonesien. Er ist in der Förderung des interreligiösen Dialogs aktiv und Mitglied im Board des Asian Council on Religion and Peace. Außerdem war er Mitglied im Vorstandsgremium des Consultative Board of Nahdlatul Ulama und ist nun Mitglied im Advisory Board. Er unterrichtet Zugänge und Methodologien der islamischen Studien an seiner Universität.

Im Wintersemester 2019 war er zu Gast am Institut für Orientalistik bzw. am Forschungszentrum RaT.

Daniel Minch

Daniel Minch war im Rahmen des Erasmus+ Programms im Sommersemester 2018 als Gastdozent in Wien. Er nahm an mehreren Seminaren und von RaT organisierten Konferenzen teil, unter anderem am Kongress “The Crisis of Representation” im Juni 2017.
Zur Zeit ist Minch Post-doc-Assistent am Institut für Dogmatik an der Universität Graz. Der Fokus seiner Forschung liegt auf der hermeneutischen Theologie von Edward Schillebeeckx, den ökonomischen Dimensionen der zeitgenössischen politischen Theologie, Eschatologie und Theologien der Hoffnung. Kürzlich hat er eine Monographie mit dem Titel "Eschatological Hermeneutics: The Theological Core of Experience and Our Hope for Salvation" (New York 2018) publiziert.

Aktuelle Publikation

Ugo Dessì

Ugo Dessì war 2017/18 Senior Research Fellow am Institut für Religionswissenschaft und arbeitete an einem von RaT mitfinanziertem Projekt zu den Einflussfaktioren religiöser Anpassungen im Kontext der Globalisierung am Beispiel Japan.

Er ist Privatdozent am Institut für Religionswissenschaft der Universität Leipzig und hat bereits an zahlreichen Universitäten unter anderem in Südafrika, Japan und den Vereinigten Staaten geforscht. Der Schwerpunkt seiner Arbeit liegt auf Japanischen Religionen, Shin Buddhismus und dem Verhältnis von Religion und Globalisierung

Website von Ugo Dessì

Website des Instituts für Religionswissenschaft

Francesco Ghia

Im Sommersemester 2017 war Francesco Ghia, Professor für politische Philosophie an der Universität Trient, zu Gast am Forschungszentrum RaT. Er beschäftigt sich vor allem mit Autoren wie Humboldt, Rosmini, Troeltsch, Weber und Jellinek, aber auch mit klassischer deutscher Philosophie. Seine Forschung zum Verhältnis von Religion und Politik konnte auch im Rahmen seines Aufenthalts in Wien präsentiert und diskutiert werden.

Veranstaltungsrückblick Studientag

Veranstaltungsrückblick Gastvortrag

Website von Francesco Ghia

Paolo Costa

Paolo Costa war von Mai bis Juli 2017 Gastwissenschaftler an der Katholisch-Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Wien.
Er ist Philosoph und Senior Researcher an der Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Trient, Italien. Sein Forschungsgebiet sind Säkularisierungstheorien und Veränderungen in der zeitgenössischen Spiritualität im Allgemeinen. Während seines Aufenthalts in Wien arbeitete er mit der Forschungsplattform “Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society” zusammen und hielt zwei Vorträge zur aktuellen Debatte über die Säkularisierung und das Konzept der “Religiösen Unmusikalität”. Im Zuge seines Besuches verfasste er auch einen zentralen Abschnitt seines Buches “La città post-secolare. Il nuovo dibattito sulla secolarizzazione” (Brescia: Queriniana, 2019).

Website auf Academia

Website der Fondazione Bruno Kessler

Aktuelle Publikation

Juraj Skačan

Juraj Skačan war im Wintersemester 2014/15 zu Gast an der Katholisch-Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Wien.

Er ist Assistent am Lehrstuhl für Philosophie der Konstantin-Philosoph-Universität in Nitra in der Slowakei.  Hauptinteresse seiner Forschung sind die mittelalterliche und spätmittelalterliche Mystik bzw. die Möglichkeit der philosophsichen Darstellung einzelner Aspekte der Mystik. Während seines Gastaufenthalts in Wien widmete er sich der Erforschung von ontologischen und gnoseologischen Aspekten der Lehre Meister Eckharts.

Website von Juraj Skačan