(Coordinator: Dr. Sarah J. Jahn)
Knowledge Transfer: One Pillar of CERES
The Center for Religious Studies (CERES) is engaged in various projects and formats of knowledge transfer. By knowledge transfer (German: Wissenstransfer) Ruhr-Universität Bochum and as part of it the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) understands all acitivites of science communication for a broader audience outside the university. Too often scientific research is solely perceived and discussed in academic circles. However, the scientific study of religions, religious variety and changing religious landscapes can be of great social importance to fields outside the university.
Communicating Research Results
Given this background, we understand knowledge transfer more precisely as a two-way process: Firstly, it shall include the adequate representation of academic results and methods in religious studies for a non-academic audience. Secondly, we believe that an open dialogue about research related topics and issues with the general public is a part of knowledge transfer as well:
- We present our academic research results and the knowledge of the academic discipline religious studies and about the religion(s) we research to a wide audience.
- We convey our scientific knowledge about religious topics to relevant public actors and institutions (such as public administration, the political field or firms with multi-ethnic and multi-religious workforce).
- We take part in a dialogue with the general public and discuss future interests for different research fields of religious studies.
CERES Expert Network
Our various projects are organized centrally and coordinated closely. For knowledge transfer activities we have established an extensive and still growing network of experts which includes CERES employees as well as advanced students, PhD candidates and postdocs. Furthermore, we keep contact to research experts all over the world to establish the best ground for an international knowledge transfer.
Link to academic teaching and research practice
Knowledge transfer is one of four pillars that carry CERES as institution, alongside academic teaching and research as well as the support of young researchers. Moreover, knowledge transfer is closely intertwined with academic teaching and research at CERES: In their undergraduate and graduate courses students gain extensive knowledge about religious traditions in and outside of Europe in their historic and contemporary dimensions. They learn source languages and methods of social sciences, afterwards being able to apply this knowledge in their own research fields. Furthermore, students have the possibility to gain first practice experiences with a specific practice seminar followed by an internship.
One perfect example for the link between knowledge transfer, teaching and research is the project Sondernutzung of the Global Young Faculty, presented to the public in connection with an exhibition in the city center of Essen. (Video documentation of the exhibition: Sondernutzung – Religious Diversity in the Public Sphere)
Resources for Knowledge Transfer
CERES provides a high level expertise for the research of religion in its philological, historical and social dimensions. Current and future research projects are integrated through the CERES Research Program. Research projects include topics such as “Religion and Knowledge”, “Religion and Materiality”, “Religion and Action” as well as the “Emergence of the Religious Field”. CERES unites researches from diverse academic and personal backgrounds, offering the opportunity to introduce research results and knowledge to different relevant fields of practice and a variety of audiences.