IRC Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies


Structure, Objectives, Concepts and Methods

By opening a call for Interfaculty Research Cooperations, the rector’s office of the University of Bern intended to promote interdisciplinary research across the faculties.Our IRC “Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies” has been launched on 1 April 2018 and is scheduled to run for a period of 4 years. It consists of 12 subprojects and brings together more than 40 researchers. They work in theology, psychology, legal sciences, religious studies, Jewish studies, Islamic studies, political sciences, history, communication studies, philosophy, gender studies and German studies. In this way, the IFK joins researchers from the faculty of theology, the faculty of law, the faculty of humanities, the faculty of science, the faculty of business, economics and social sciences as well as the interdisciplinary center for gender studies. Moreover, few project leaders belong to the universities of Basel, Zurich, Fribourg, Munich (Germany) and Hangzhou (China). Many subprojects have international cooperation partners. In total, 28 project leaders supervise 10 PhD students and 12 postdocs. The project groups organize subject specific workshops and conferences as well as interdisciplinary lectures. For the young researches, there are regular meetings in which they discuss methodological and theoretical approaches and read selected literature on conflict research. In this way, they practice interdisciplinarity on a regular basis. The program is completed by public annual conferences where all the members of the IRC take part and to which external guests are invited. As an overall goal, our research cluster aims at building a context-sensitive model to analyze and describe religious dimensions of conflicts. This model will be based on the results coming from all subprojects.
The coordination team – Prof. Dr. Katharina Heyden (director), Prof. Dr. Martino Mona (deputy director), Dr. Sophie Caflisch (internal communication) and PD Dr. Christine Schliesser (external communication) – is advised by an internal scientific board, which consists of eight project leaders who work in different fields, and by an external scientific board, which consists of five international experts in this field.

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