Max Weber College

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Max Weber College for cultural and social science studies
founding Announcement of the first scholarships: autumn 1997

Start of teaching and research: April 1, 1998

Sponsorship public ( University of Erfurt )
place Erfurt , Thuringia
country Germany
management Hartmut Rosa (Director)

Jörg Rüpke (Deputy Director)

Employee 95 (as of June 1, 2018)

The Max Weber College for Cultural and Social Studies is an institution of the University of Erfurt .

It connects an Institute for Advanced Study with a permanent graduate college and junior college . Scientists from various disciplines (sociology, history, philosophy, theology, religious studies, law and economics) are appointed temporary fellows . You will take part in a Weber research program and supervise and accompany the fellows ( doctoral and post- doctoral candidates ). The cooperation between fellows and fellows follows the principle of teaching research and research-based learning as well as that of task-related teamwork.


The fellows treat in their doctoral and post-doctoral theses of this research program aspects. In their work, each graduate student is confronted with the theoretical perspectives and methodological procedures of other disciplines. After all, the work of the college is international. Visiting professors from abroad regularly take part in the research and teaching program of the Max Weber College.

Depending on their disciplinary focus, students can choose to study Dr. rer. pol., Dr. iur. or to the Dr. phil. be awarded a doctorate . The college carries out the doctoral procedure itself. Anyone who has an excellent exam in one of the disciplines represented at the college and who outlines a dissertation or habilitation project that is accepted by the academic members can be accepted as a college graduate. There are grants to carry out such projects .

Location on Steinplatz
former location "Am Hügel"
Construction work on the new Max Weber College

In April 2017, the Max Weber College moved from its previous location in Research Building 1 across from the university campus to Steinplatz 2 near the city center, after the college was previously located at "Am Hügel". Every college graduate can find a job there and is obliged to take part in the lectures of the college. Their topics are related to the research program, but do not follow a formalized curriculum . Courses at the college are usually planned and carried out jointly by several academic members and visiting professors.

In October 2019, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new research building "World Relations" with 160 workplaces took place on the university campus. It was the first purely humanities research project that was awarded a contract for its own research building by the federal government.

Teaching and Research

The Max Weber College began teaching and research on April 1, 1998. Its first scholarships were advertised in autumn 1997. The duration is three years, within which doctorates must be completed. Even those who do not want to apply for a scholarship can apply for admission to the college. It is subject to the same selection process as the applicant for a fellowship from the college. The research achievements of the Max-Weber-Kolleg were found to be excellent in the extensive research rating of the Science Council in 2008 . The Max Weber College is one of the best 9 research units out of a total of 254 in the field of sociology in Germany. The research projects of the fellows are supplemented by projects of the supervised fellows. The research at the Max-Weber-Kolleg is historical and comparative. However, the focus is on the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary linking of the subject areas represented at the college. The research program focuses on the following problem areas:

  • Religion, science and law as powers of interpretation and control;
  • Interactions between cultures, social orders and mentalities in the event of radical change;
  • action-theoretical foundations of cultural and social sciences and their relationship to normative, especially ethical questions.

These problem areas are substantiated by the following research focuses:

  • Violence and human dignity : In a series of historical-sociological studies, the interaction between the emergence of values ​​and the history of violence in the 19th and 20th centuries will be examined.
  • Communication about values : This is the field in which works on the history of contingency consciousness and the potential of a macro-sociological theory that understands the various dimensions of modernization as only loosely linked.
  • Pragmatism / Historicism / Sociology : Studies are carried out on more or less forgotten characters and theories from pragmatism and historicism in order to create points of contact for a contemporary, historically deep, cross- cultural and interdisciplinary as well as normatively oriented social science.
  • Religion : The specifics of religious experience, the processes of religious individualization and community building, the effects of modernization processes on religion and the religious prerequisites of modernization processes should be asked in an interdisciplinary way, comparing cultures and historically.

Research groups at the Max Weber College

The following research groups are maintained:

  • Religious individualization from a historical perspective , funded by the German Research Foundation
  • Order through movement , funded by the State Excellence Initiative of the State of Thuringia
  • ICAS: MP "Metamorphoses of the Political (including MWK sub-project:" Normative Conflicts and Transformation ")
  • Dynamics of ritual practices in Judaism in pluralistic contexts from antiquity to the present , funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • The Sanctuary Project , funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Anneliese Maier Research Award
  • MWK-FELLOWS COFUND International Fellowship Program of the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies for Experienced Researchers , funded by the European Union
  • Religion and modernity: secularization, social and religious plurality
  • The City in the History of Religion
  • International Graduate School: Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices , in cooperation with the University of Graz
  • Social philosophy and social theory , cooperation project with the University of Jena

Research centers at the Max Weber College

  • Research center for early modern natural law
  • Johann Gottfried Herder Research Center
  • Kierkegaard Research Center
  • Meister Eckhart Research Center



Well-known fellows

Important fellows of the college were or are a.

Guest researchers at the college included: the sociologist Shmuel N. Eisenstadt (1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001), the sociologist Toby Huff (2000), the Indologist Sheldon Pollock (2001), the historian Paolo Prodi (2007-2008), the Historian Dan T. Carter (2009), sociologist Paul Lichterman (2009), and academic researcher Chen Hongjie (2010).

Web links

Commons : Max-Weber-Kolleg  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Directory of people at the Max Weber College. In:
  2. ^ Groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Erfurt's new research building on, article from October 10, 2019.
  3. ^ Press release from DIW Berlin. In:
  4. Overview of the research groups and positions. In: Retrieved June 1, 2018 .
  5. Hans Joas changes to FRIAS. ( Memento of the original from November 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Press release from the University of Erfurt. ( Memento of the original from April 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. ^ Members of the Max Weber College. In:
  8. ^ Former members of the Max Weber College. ( Memento of the original from August 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. ^ Members of the Max Weber College before 2010. In: