The creation of a thematic interdisciplinary Institute of History, Sociology, Archaeology and Anthropology of Religions (HiSAAR), dedicated to the critical study of religions through disciplinary approaches such as history, sociology, archaeology and anthropology, and which federates sixty-four teacher-researchers and researchers, more than three hundred doctoral and master's students attached to eight faculties, nine research units, four doctoral schools and eleven master's programs, is certainly unprecedented at the University of Strasbourg since its opening after the First World War.
The University of Strasbourg has a strong potential in research and training in the field of religious systems of yesterday and today. Archaeologists, historians, philologists, sociologists and ethnologists from Strasbourg cover a long chronology, from prehistory to the present day, and a large area, from the Americas to the Far East. Thus, a significant number of religious systems are the object of excellent research and are included in the initial university training (shamanism, Mesopotamian religions, Egyptian religions, Vedism, Mazdeism, Greek religions, Brāhmanism, Judaism, Taoism, Roman religions, Buddhism, Vishnuism, Christianity, Shintoism, Islam), as well as historical or contemporary themes such as religious plurality, the recomposition of religious identities, state regulation of religion, secularism, or processes of radicalization.
The establishment of an interdisciplinary thematic institute is an unprecedented opportunity to finally federate the entire scientific community and to allow significant advances in interdisciplinary research and training. Such a project, which has been eagerly awaited for years at the national, European and international levels by all of our non-student colleagues - more than 140 have responded positively to our call and/or are already strongly involved in existing collaborations - will allow the creation of a scientific pole of excellence in research and training on the religious phenomenon. This will certainly place the University of Strasbourg at the heart of research and training in the field of the study of religions in France, in Europe and more broadly at the international level, and will give it the means to also increase its involvement in the socio-economic milieu and in the fields of training and education.
Through an innovative interdisciplinary approach aimed at decompartmentalizing the representative constructions of religions, which are often binary and ideologically oriented (sacred/profane, monotheism/polytheism, religion/magic, liberal/integrist, etc.), the ITI's goal will be to study, in a comparative perspective, the religious systems that have existed or are still alive today in their internal mode of functioning and in their interactions with their societal environment. This interdisciplinary and transversal thematic research, "Religious re-structuring: internal transformations and external interactions", will be based on textual and intertextual studies, on the fabrication of identities and alterities, on the societal boundaries between religions and political power, on ritual practices and their objects materializing belief, as well as on the interactions between religions, sexual practices and gender.
With its already partly interdisciplinary Master's programs (Master's degree in Religions, History and Societies, Master's degree in Muslim Worlds, Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Ancient Worlds, Master's degree in Interreligious Studies and Society, etc.) and doctoral programs, funded research projects and numerous international collaborations and contacts, ITI HiSAAR proposes to support interdisciplinary research activities, to offer thesis and post-doctoral fellowships, and to support the development of new research projects. ) and doctoral studies, funded research projects and numerous international collaborations and contacts, ITI HiSAAR proposes to support transverse interdisciplinary research actions, to offer thesis and post-doctoral fellowships, to create masterclasses of excellence, summer and winter universities, databases, manuals, innovative pedagogical tools, knowledge dissemination devices, as well as to interact with the socio-economic world (social work, prisons, national education, hospitals, local authorities, etc.) and the digital humanities (OCAD, the French Ministry of Culture, the French Ministry of Education, the French Ministry of Culture, the French Ministry of Culture, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of the Interior, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs). ) and digital humanities (OCR, TDM, etc.) through close collaboration with the National and University Library of Strasbourg and UnivOAK.