Sie sind hier: Startseite Pressemitteilungen Control, Coercion, and Constraint
Datum: 13.09.2021

Control, Coercion, and Constraint The Role of Religion in Overcoming and Creating Structures of Dependency

— Kategorie:

The Role of Religion in Overcoming and Creating Structures of Dependency

Tuesdays at 18:15 hrs
Hörsaal X (Hauptgebäude Universität Bonn)

-> Link to the live streams <-

Control, Coercion, and Constraint

The Role of Religion in Overcoming and Creating Structures of Dependency


During the winter semester 2021/2022 and the summer semester 2022, a lectures series organized by the Centre for Religion and Society (ZERG) and the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS; Research Area C) will explore the question of the role of religion in both overcoming existing and creating new forms and types of dependencies.

On the one hand, the equality of all human beings before God is affirmed by many religions. Conversion to one or the other religion has, therefore, often led to a transformation and even abolishment of existing social structures and institutions and their corresponding dependencies.

On the other hand, while control, coercion, and constraint of individuals or groups are indeed frequently criticized in religious discourse, religious aetiologies have also famously been used to justify the subjection of individuals and whole peoples. In addition, throughout history religious institutions themselves have often mirrored the social hierarchies and inequalities of the surrounding societies. Concomitantly, they have created similarly rigid systems of dependency within their own institutional, social, legal, and spiritual structures. The realization of freedom and equality is then often postponed to a distant future, to a later life, or even to the after-life. However, not even the metaphysical world is free of dependencies: almost all major religions envisage hierarchies of gods, angels, and demons in their religious discourse.

Finally, the question of the role of religion in perpetuating and abolishing slavery is still a much debated topic within historical and social sciences. This topic is all the more pressing in light of contemporary enslavement of ethnic groups on the basis of their religion, like e.g. the Yazidis and the Rohingya.

The lectures series will take place on Tuesdays at 18:15 hrs (Hörsaal X in the Hauptgebäude). It is planned as a hybrid event which is to be delivered in Bonn before an audience and simultaneously streamed via youtube.

Winter semester 2021/2022 (04/10/2021–28/01/2022)


Freedom and Dependency in Ancient Israel and the Ancient Near East

(Prof. Dietrich)


Structures of Dependency in the Comprehensive Treatise on Universal Peace (Taiping jing 太平經)

(Prof. Christian Schwermann)


Creating Dependency by Means of its Overcoming: A Case Study from the Rise of Tibetan Buddhism

(Prof. Lewis Doney)


Simple but Sacral: Tracing the Sinaitic He-tribe and the Origin of ‘our’ Alphabet 4000 Years ago

(Prof. Ludwig Morenz)


The Servant and the Servants of God in the Old Testament

(Prof. Ulrich Berges)


‘I Abjure Satan, his Pomp, and his Service’: Changing Religious Dependency in the Early Church

(Prof. Wolfram Kinzig)


Sisters and Equals? Hierarchies in Early Monastic Communities for Women

(Dr Maria Munkholt)


The Cult of the Roman Emperor as an Issue of (non-) Controlling and Coercion in the Roman Empire

(Dr Dennis Beck)


Serving God: Structures of Dependency in the Ecclesial Realm (Dr Julia Winnebeck)


Church Owned Bodies: Relics as Sources of Power in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

(Prof. Sabine Feist)


A King's Son, Forced to Work in the Kitchen: The Muslim Rennewart at a Christian Court in the Middle High German Epic Poem Willehalm

(Prof. Elke Brüggen)


Dominium in se ipsum and medieval discourses on liberty

(Prof. Martin Schermaier)



Corona-Hinweis: Eine Teilnahme an der Ringvorlesung ist nur unter Einhaltung der 3G-Regel möglich!