Junior Research Groups

Norm, Normativity and Norm Changes

The central objective of the junior research group for the next years will be the search for answers to the question, if and to what extent justice is addressed as a normative theory for societal order in Islam. The term justice will thereby be analysed regarding aspects of legal theory, theology and empiricism.

The tendency to take for granted the practice of Ijtihad, and hence the process of norm transition in the broadest sense, has generally speaking become prevalent in Islamic legal thought, at least formally. Herein questions about the relationship between the idea of justice and the evolvement of legal thought are discussed.

On the other hand the controversy over God’s justice and the question of whether it can be judged based on human benchmarks has led to major theological arguments within Islam. The discussion about justice as an attribute of God and as a significant feature of the Islamic worldview will herein be analysed.

A further field of research focuses on the empirical aspect and poses the question of how Muslims, for instance in Germany, think about justice, and accordingly define it, and how they judge the given legal and sociopolitical circumstances in respect of their perceptions of justice.

Dissertation project (Farid Suleiman)

Ibn Taymiyya’s (d. 728/1328) teaching on the attributes of God – an analysis and a historical contextualization of his notions

The dissertation project aims at the exposition and analysis of Ibn Taymiyya’s methods in dealing with the divine attributes transmitted in the revelatory sources. This shall include, inter alia, an examination of the relation between his views and the theological positions represented in the Hanbalite school. It shall be also determined, if and to what extent positions of preceding (including non-Hanbalite) scholars implicitly or explicitly had some influences on Ibn Taymiyya’s understanding of the attributes of God, and accordingly his strategy of reasoning. Among other things, the analysis of his perspectives shall reply to the question of whether Ibn Taymiyya’s theological positions can be considered to be anthropomorphic, and how it should be understood in this context that some features like ‘just’ can be attributed to God as well as to man.


PD Dr. Abbas Poya

Farid Suleiman

Islamic Contemporary Cultures

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds a junior research group in religious studies working on “Islamic contemporary cultures” at the University Bayreuth. It is a partner in cooperation and exchange for the new research groups at the Department Islamic Religious Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (DIRS). The junior research group has taken up work with Dr. Robert Langer as supervisor in April 2014.

The junior research group “Islamic contemporary cultures” ath the University Bayreuth works on:

Shiites and shiite religiosity in Germany

The junior research groups task is to address the phenomenon of shiite religiosity in Germany which is yet hardly explored. Methodologically it builds on research about marginalised religious groups of islamic tradition in a transnational context. Based on a survey involving shiite actors, organisations and ‘ritual communities’ the research group shall study up to what extent and specifics shiite discourses and practices in Germany can be shown. The focus especially lies on their internal diversity on the one hand and on their incorporation in transnational networks between other european diaspora communities as well as countries of origin on the other hand. Furthermore particular relevance is given to the question which role “Shiism” and shiite identity designs play in the ‘overall islamic’ german area as well as within the framework of governmental institutionalisation of ‘Islam’ in Germany.


Benjamin Weineck, M.A.