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Senior Research Fellowships for Projects on Secularity in Pre-Modern Asian Cultures

The Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies (Kolleg-Forschergruppe, KFG) „Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities“ (headed by Prof. Christoph Kleine and Prof. Monika Wohlrab-Sahr) at Leipzig University is offering Senior Research Fellowships for scholars, who are working on questions that are related to the KFG’s research programme. The KFG investigates forms and arrangements of differentiation between religious and other social spheres, practices, interpretive frameworks, institutions and discourses in different eras and regions. These arrangements are referred to with the heuristic term “secularities”. Primarily the KFG’s research questions are:

  • When did distinctions/differentiations between “religion“ (or something related) and something else emerge and what sort of distinctions were these?
  • Under which circumstances did they emerge? Are there specific historical events that influenced the emergence of such distinctions?
  • What is the terminology in which distinctions are expressed?
  • What are the sources indicating forms of distinction and differentiation?
  • By whom have they been put forward? Have they been institutionalised?
  • Have there been counter-reactions and counter-movements against certain forms of distinction? By whom were these proposed?
  • How did early forms of distinction (if there were any) interact with distinctions that were introduced through encountering forms of Western modernity? How did things develop after that?

Currently we are especially interested in scholars whose research is focused on questions of secularity in pre-modern Asian cultures.


As a research group, the KFG intends to provide a stimulating academic environment in which innovative research topics can be dealt with through discourse and debate within a small group of senior and junior researchers. Key characteristics are a comprehensive Fellowship Programme for guest scholars, support for young researchers and the opportunity to be exempt from teaching duties for a set period of time. 

Since the research group will only be effective with its fellows’ attendance and contribution to debates, we expect fellows to be present regularly at the KFG, to be prepared for meetings, to make active contributions to discussions and to contribute to the KFG’s Working Paper Series as well as to its Handbook of Secularities. The research group and its fellows organise regular workshops, in which fellows also take active roles depending on their research focus.


Fellowships can be awarded up to six months, shorter stays will also be possible. The scholarship amount depends on the scholar’s status:


Senior Research Fellows with a postdoctoral qualification (Prof./Dr. habil.)

  • €3000 scholarship a month
  • actual accommodation costs (up to the respective rate at the university’s guest house)
  • actual travel costs to and from Leipzig
  • travel costs for trips, that are related to the research within the KFG


Graduated Senior Research Fellows (PostDoc)

  • €1750 scholarship and €250 subsidy for material costs a month
  • actual accommodation costs (up to the respective rate at the university’s guest house)
  • actual travel costs to and from Leipzig
  • travel costs for trips, that are related to the research within the KFG


In addition, allowances for accompanying family members are possible. Furthermore, the KFG can cover the costs for the substitute of scholars, who are on paid leave from their home institution for the period of their fellowship. In this case the scholarship amount will be reduced to €750 a month, plus the actual accommodation and travel costs.


Applications are possible at any time and should include a research proposal (20,000 – 35,000 characters, including spaces), a CV, a list of publications as well as information on the preferred time slot of the fellowship. Please send your application as one pdf file to multiple-secularities@uni-leipzig.de



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