Research in Frankfurt

We invite scholars of religious life and history (including, but not limited to, Christianities) to reflect with us on the polycentric organisation of religious forms and entanglements around the world, as well as the striking pluralities and tensions found even within the self-styled monoliths of the faith (e.g. the Catholic Church). Working at the crossroads of global and local history, we are hoping to develop new methods and approaches that will radically decentralise scholarship on Christian communities and beliefs from the early medieval period through the 19th century. We are particularly excited about innovative approaches that focus on behaviours, practices, and objects in order to trigger new ways of seeing the plural and dynamic histories of premodern Christianities.

During the first stage of this project (2021-25), we are chiefly interested in accumulating knowledge, identifying approaches, and evaluating relevant methods. Our work will be organized across a grid of main research areas (structures, resources, practices, spaces) and a number of themes and promising approaches (symbolic communication, speech and register, decision making, entanglement). Our progress will be jointly monitored by the Directors of the research group and the Frankfurt fellows.

Our Frankfurt-based research group will facilitate the intellectual collaboration necessary for this project by hosting events such as workshops and conferences. We will also establish a fellowship programme designed to bring junior and senior scholars to Frankfurt for stays of varying lengths. The fellowship funds may include lodging, teaching replacement support, and/or stipends. Further, the Frankfurt Centre will host and support joint research projects conducted by the directors and staff. These projects may range from traditional book projects to the assembly and publication of new online datasets or work with the digital humanities. We look forward to including you in our research community-virtually or physically, as possible- and pursuing this work together!

Our Projects in Frankfurt

Global Governance, Local Dynamics


Lead Investigator: Dr. Bruno Boute

Picture credits

Heavenly Brokers, Earthly Clients


Lead Investigator: Prof. Dr. Birgit Emich

Picture credits

Latin and Eastern Christianities


Lead Investigator: Prof. Dr. Dorothea Weltecke

Picture credits

Topography of Eastern Christianities


Lead Investigators: Dr. Ralph Barczok, Dr. Bernd Andreas Vest

Picture credits


Prof. Dr. Birgit Emich
Historisches Seminar
Lehrstuhl für Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49-(0) 69/798-32594
E-Mail: emich[at]

Administration Office
Claudia Pätzold
Historisches Seminar
Lehrstuhl für Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
IG Farbenhaus 3.413
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49-(0) 69/798-32595
E-Mail: c.paetzold[at]