Further informationen, especially about the "disziplinäre Schlussevaluation" can be finde in "Wegleitung Theologie" (Rubrik Wegleitungen).
The department covers the first 1500 years of the History of Christianity. In this context it mainly focuses on Late Antiquity (2rd to 6th century). This period indicates significant parallels with present time. Therefore, the study of the past can arise questions and impulses related to our days. For this purpose, it is fundamental to understand Christianity not as an isolated factor. Rather, it should be seen as part of its respective context that is influenced by Christianity. To this, “ordinary” people’s way of life and faith as well as discourses of elite theologians are relevant to the topic. Thus, research and teaching concentrate on the methodological, well-reflected study of Greek and Latin literary sources, archaeological evidences and images.
The analysis of the still undivided but diverse Christendom of Late Antiquity is based on ecumenical openness and interdenominational academic exchange.
The department has a special focus on the research of interreligious encounters. The world of Late Antiquity is characterised by religious plurality which caused contacts between Jews, “Pagans” and Christians; in Medieval Times “Paganism” is replaced by Islam. This encounters had impact on theology, liturgy and practice of piety as well as of Christian understanding of the other and the self which can be explored by traditions of holy spaces and literary religious dialogues.
The department deals with the multifarious appearance of Christianity and its changes from the time of the Reformation until today. Reformation and French Revolution mark the transitions from the middle Ages to early modern period and from premodern to modern era. Research and teaching takes the profound changes and connections between the epochs into account. Thus, history and theology of Reformation, Pietism, Age of Enlightenment and the development of Christianity in 19th and 20th century with a special focus on the history of ecumenical encounters are analysed.
The department’s particularity is the study of the ecumenical Church History in Switzerland (Catholicism, Old-Catholicism and Protestantism). This is connected to the denominational studies about orthodox, catholic and protestant churches as well as free churches, religious communities and movements.