Wolfgang Gantke

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Wolfgang Gantke (born January 4, 1951 in Bad Königshofen ) is professor for religious studies and theology of religion at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.


Wolfgang Gantke was born on January 4, 1951. After attending elementary school (1957–1965) and working for several years as a travel agent (1965–1974) in Trier , he obtained his Abitur (1977) on the second educational path at the Catholic Ketteler College in Mainz. From 1977 to 1983 he studied comparative religion, philosophy and systematic theology in Bonn. After completing his master's degree in 1983, he wrote a doctoral thesis in religious studies entitled The Significance of Otto Friedrich Bollnow's Hermeneutical Approach for Religious Studies . After several years of academic activity in religious studies and philosophy at the University of Bonn, Gantke dealt with the question of the intercultural generalizability of this term in his post- doctoral thesis on the “controversial concept of the sacred”, which was funded by the German Research Foundation . After completing his habilitation (1996), Gantke worked as a private lecturer and professor (1999–2001) at the University of Bonn . In the 2001/2002 winter semester, he was a substitute for the Guardini Chair in Munich. Since 2004 Gantke has been Professor of Religious Studies and Theology of Religion at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. From October 2016 to March 2020 he was Senior Professor in the Department of Catholic Theology.

Scientific method

At the center of Gantke's research interests is the study of religion, philosophy of religion and theology, which are equally concerned with the “discussion of the sacred”. In his habilitation thesis and numerous other publications, Gantke developed the approach of a "problem-oriented phenomenology of religion" based on Plessner's "principle of the open question" in an undogmatic way on the one hand on the one hand, on the one hand, based on the ideas of his teacher Hans-Joachim Klimkeit Holds on to saints and, on the other hand, remains open to approaches critical of religion. For a "committed religious studies" involved in the discussion about the great religious questions of the time (ecology, dialogue of religions, crisis of immanence), a "transcendent open" approach is more suitable than a value-neutral, reductionist approach that focuses on the pure Limited description of religious manifestations.

Fonts (selection)

As an author:

  • The meaning of OF Bollnow's hermeneutical approach for religious studies. Bonn 1987 (Dissertation, University of Bonn, 1987).
  • The controversial concept of the sacred. A problem-oriented religious studies investigation. Marburg 1998 (slightly revised habilitation thesis, University of Bonn, 1994).
  • Otto Friedrich Bollnow's philosophy read interculturally (= Intercultural Library. Vol. 23). Ed. V. Hamid Reza Yousefi et al. a. Publishing house Traugott Bautz, Nordhausen 2005.
  • Aurobindo's philosophy read intercultural (= Intercultural Library. Vol. 61). Ed. V. Hamid Reza Yousefi et al. a. Nordhausen 2007.

As editor:

  • with Karl Hoheisel , Wilhelm Peter Schneemelcher Religious Studies in a Historical Context. Contributions to the 100th birthday of Gustav Mensching (= religious studies series. Vol. 21). Marburg 2003.
  • with Hamid Reza Yousefi , Klaus Fischer, Ina Braun: Paths to religious studies. An intercultural orientation. Aspects, basic problems, additional perspectives. Nordhausen 2007.
  • with Hamid Reza Yousefi, Hans Waldenfels: Paths to religion. Aspects, basic problems, additional perspectives. Nordhausen 2010.
  • with Thomas Schreijäck : Religion in the cultural change between self-acceptance and self-abandonment. Continental-contextual perspectives (= Forum Religious Education intercultural. Vol. 21). Berlin 2011.
  • with Vladislav Serikov: The sacred as a problem of contemporary religious studies (= Theion. Vol. XXX). Frankfurt am Main 2015.
  • with Vladislav Serikov: 100 years of «The Holy». Contributions to Rudolf Otto's basic work (= Theion. Vol. XXXII). Frankfurt am Main 2017.

Individual evidence

  1. Goethe University Ff./M.

Web links