Gnostic Myth and Enlightenment: On the Perversity of Institutional Promise/Misspeaking (Versprechen)

E. A. Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination,
illustrated by Arthur Rackham

How can we see the discourse about ‘Gnosis’ in a contemporary light or how can we perceive it at all? Christian Zolles approaches this topic based on new interpretations of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Imp of the Perverse and of Jacob Taubes’ reflections on The Uneasiness with the Institution.

For the German version of this article, click here.


The twofold Demise of a Communicative Genre. Shutdown-notes during the fifth Austrian Shutdown

Last fall’s Corona wave hit Austria with full force and brought us our fifth lockdown. In the latest contribution to his series, Karsten Lehmann continues his observations on shutdown notes and shows how the habituation effect has left its mark on this text genre. 


Doomed to Sacrifice? Existential and Phenomenological Perspectives on Sacrifice and Gender

International Workshop 28–29 October 2021 at the Institute for Human Sciences, organised within the FWF Research Project M2947-G “Woman without a Name: Gender Identity in Sacrificial Stories” and co-organised by the Research Centre for Religion and Transformation. A report by Katerina Koci.


Times of Distanced Judaism

How have the recent COVID-19 related lockdowns affected Jewish religious pracitce? Yuval Katz-Wilfing’s text reflects upon the challenges that the pandemic poses to Jewish laws regarding prayers and rituals and gives an insight into the various ways different Jewish communities have responded to these difficult times.


Are the Taliban Jihadists? On the Religious Identity of Afghanistan’s New Rulers

How can we comprehend the current state of affairs in Afghanistan? Thomas Schmidinger offers us an insight into the religious position of the Taliban inside of Sunni Islam. In doing so, he shows us that religious identities are more complex than we often believe. To read the German version of this article, click here.


Fakelore and Cultural Appropriation: New Age and Folk Religion

Taking the example of the self-declared Zulu shaman Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa, Hans Gerald Hödl reflects on the difficult task of classifying religions and draws our attention to the power relations that are always at play in this process.


On the “return to Freud” in post-war German philosophy

Klaus Heinrich, 2020 copyright

Starting now (summer 2020) a new edition of the works of Klaus Heinrich, the Berlin-based scholar of religion, is published by ça ira (Freiburg/Vienna). On the RaT-blog, we will honor this with the publication of a mini-series in which several authors are going to pick out an aspect of Heinrich’s pivotal and expansive works and examine it from their perspective. They will address especially the second edition of “anfangen mit Freud. Reden und kleine Schriften I“ (beginning with Freud. lectures and writings I) and start a dialogue with Heinrich’s expansive thought. Common theme to Heinrich’s erudite lectures and writings, spanning from Herakles and the Bible to Lukretius, from Francis Bacon to Hegel, Freud, and Paul Tillich is the need for self-reflection of modern society. This is more pressing today than ever. This is consequently tied back to the employment of religious motives in this quest for self-knowledge of a particular time.

Our series starts with a commentary on Heinrich’s Study “Anfangen mit Freud. Die ‚wiederentdeckte‘ Psychoanalyse nach dem Krieg” that comprises the first part of „anfangen mit Freud“, by Herman Westerink (Nijmegen).

[Introduction by Jakob Deibl]