PhD Position in Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology
University Goettingen Faculty of Theology

At the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, the Faculty of Theology in the Department of Religious Studies and Intercultural Theology has a vacancy as of 01.10.2024 for one

PhD student (f/m/d)
(Salary group 13 TV-L, 65 %, 25,87 hours per week)

for a limited period of 36 months.

The position is part of the DFG project “Socialist Mysticism, Mystical Socialism” and will work closely with another doctoral position. The project examines the relationship between religion and socialism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on alternative religiosity, esotericism, occultism, and mysticism. The main aim is to critically understand the prominent and numerous contemporary uses of these ambiguous terms, as they emerged in the contexts of millenarian, messianic, and alternative religious circles. Against this background, the other doctoral position will deal with the transformation of Jewish messianism in the context of “spiritual Zionism” from Moses Hess to Martin Buber, with particular attention being paid to the openness of their “metapolitical” program of “Jewish renewal” to alternative-religious or “mystical-socialist” ideas (in Buber’s case, especially those of Gustav Landauer).

Possible areas of focus for the position advertised here include but are not limited to:

  • The role of life reform (Lebensreform), Theosophy, Anthroposophy or parapsychology for socialist and anarchist ideas.
  • The socialist reception of ideas often described as “mystical” from various areas such as Christianity (Böhme, Meister Eckhart), Judaism (Kabbalah), and Islam (Sufism).
  • The environment of the “Forte Kreis,” which included authors such as Martin Buber, Gustav Landauer, and Erich Gutkind.
  • Socialists, feminists, and women’s rights activists such as Margarete Susman and Margarethe Faas-Hardegger.
  • Exchange processes between socialists from German-speaking regions and non-European regions.
  • Socialist-oriented emigrants from outside Europe and from Eastern Europe who stayed in Germany, for example, in the 1920s. Iran, Turkey, India, and Russia would be of interest here, among others.

The PhD project should therefore have a focus on the German-speaking countries, which however may also be conceived as a nodal point for global exchanges. The decades around 1900 form the temporal framework.


  • An above-average university degree in Religious Studies or a closely related subject.
  • Willingness to integrate into the intercultural research environment of the chair and to participate in general tasks and academic self-administration.
  • Writing a dissertation in Religious Studies in English or German.
  • Very good command of written and spoken English.
  • Very good knowledge of relevant source languages.
  • Basic knowledge of German and a willingness to deepen this knowledge are desirable.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Professor Dr. Julian Strube. Contact:

The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply as they are underrepresented in the field. The university has committed itself to being a family-friendly institution and supports their employees in balancing work and family life. The mission of the University is to employ a greater number of severely disabled persons. Applications from severely disabled persons with equivalent qualifications will be given preference.
Please send your application with a short letter of motivation (max. 500 words), an exposé of your research project (max. 1,500 words excl. bibliography), a timetable, a CV, and a digital copy of your MA thesis in electronic form as one document (PDF) by June 3, 2024 to: E-Mail:, Theologische Fakultät, Lehrstuhl für Religionswissenschaft und Interkulturelle Theologie, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 2, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Your electronic documents will be deleted after a retention period of three months after completion of the procedure.
We would like to point out that the submission of the application constitutes consent to the processing of your applicant data by us under data protection law. You can find more information on the legal basis and use of data in the information sheet on the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO).

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