Religious Toleration in the Modern World: Theory and Practice

The third research theme will be conducted in close cooperation with the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. Both Wolfenbüttel and Göttingen have played remarkable roles in Europe’s cultural and intellectual life. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, indeed up to the mid-18th century, the Dukes of Wolfenbüttel, with the help of famous librarians such as Leibniz and Lessing, built up astounding collections with a significant European, if not global reach. The library is one of the hallmarks for the study of European culture of the late Renaissance, Reformation and early Enlightenment. At this point it connects directly with Göttingen University, founded by the Anglo-Hanoverian dynasty in 1737.

For the period January 2014 to July 2015 the research theme will centre around questions of „Religious Toleration in the Modern World: Theory and Practice”, which is immediately associated with Wolfenbüttel and Göttingen – and of course with Lessing, Wolfenbüttel’s famous librarian. The theme is distinctly popular, international and interdisciplinary, enabling us to bring together scholars from fields such as religious studies, literature, philosophy and political theory; given current controversies over issues of toleration, “the politics of recognition” and the problems and promises of multicultural societies, its cultural, and political relevance is hard to underestimate.

The Göttingen Scholars in this group are:

Prof. Dr. Martin van Gelderen (Lichtenberg-Kolleg)

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kaufmann (Faculty of Theology)

Information on the Wolfenbüttel library and holdings: