Current projects


On the basis of the Special Research Area’s conceptual framework, the members of the Research Area have decided to focus their short- and medium term plans onto three distinct fields:

1. Constructions of the Plurality of Worldviews in the Context of Education
2. Understanding and Explanation of religious Plurality in Austria
3. Implementation of ‘interreligious competence’



1. Constructions of the Plurality of Worldviews in the Context of Education

Austria is a very diverse country. This is also the case with regards to the role of religions in the context of education. Actually, the education sector is characterized by a particularly high degree of plurality. The actors working in this field have a number of very diverse options to assess this situation – e.g. as an enrichment, a threat or a negligible entity -, and these constructions of religious plurality form the basis of all grass-roots activities. Accordingly, our empirical research activities intend to collect and analyze data on the different modes of the construction of religious plurality in the educational sector.


Oral History-Project: Religious Plurality at Viennese Schools during the First Republic (1918–1938)
Project lead: Karsten Lehmann

The research and research communication project under the responsibility of Edith Petschnigg focuses on the handling of religion and religious plurality at Viennese schools during the First Republic of Austria. In the Interwar period, at a great number of Viennese schools the everyday school life was characterised by the encounter of pupils of divers Christian, Jewish, and secular traditions. Central to this project are the perspectives of former pupils and their individual constructions of religious plurality. Therefore, the main source are oral history interviews with Jewish and Christian contemporary witnesses.

2023: RiE-article 'A Religiously Pluralistic Milieu in Austria during the Interwar Period' by Karsten Lehmann

2023: Article in Transformation of Religion: 'Differentiating the Social Dimension of Religion' by Karsten Lehmann 

2023: R&E-article 'Bedeutungsarmer Diskurs religiöser Vielfalt' by Karsten Lehmann

2023: ÖRF-article 'Prägende Rolle von Religionslehrpersonen' by Alexandra Katzian and Karsten Lehmann

2021: BIOS-article 'Individuelle Religiosität' by Karsten Lehmann

2021: Invitation to travelling exibition in: 'Im Dialoge', page 22

2020: Article in the Religionswissenschaftsblog of THE STANDARD

2020: Establishment of Advisory Council

2019: Conversation with Contemporary Witnesses (chair: Dr. Edith Petschnig)


Biography and interreligious Dialogue (IRD)
Project lead: Karsten Lehmann

This project has a look at individual IRD-activities from the point of view of most recent trends in biographical research. It wants to analyse how IRD-activities are embedded into biographical narratives. This can be used for educational material.

2023: Article in Interreligiöser Dialog: 'Interreligiöser Dialog aus sozial- und kluturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive' by Karsten Lehmann

2021: Book 'Talking Dialogue'

2020: Thematic Issue 'Dialogue in Context' of JRaT

2015: IRD - Perspectives from Sociology



2. Understanding and Explanation of religious Plurality in Austria

The research undertaken in the context of the Special Research Area intends to support the adequate understanding (and at best) explanation of religiously diverse situations. The understanding of Austria’s socio-cultural diversity forms the basis of every competent action under the conditions of religious plurality in the education sector. Along those lines, the members of the Research Area want to put particular emphasis on the analysis of religious plurality in Austria.


Transmission:  Multiple Forms of the Transfer of Religion to young People
Project Lead: Karsten Lehmann / Anne Koch (PHDL)

The initial idea to work on the multiple forms of the transfer of religion to young people emerged out of the intense debates among the research professorships 'interreligiosity' within the context of the 'Religion_Plurality' cooperation. The project idea is based upon the observation that the increasing empirical work on religion and youth has most recently been approached along the lines of two main criticisms: First, scholars of religion have been questioning the urban bias of present-day research on religion and youth. Second, they have been pinpointing towards a lack of research on marginalized youth and religion. The project 'Transmission' intends to close this gap by undertaking qualitative empirical research in Austria.

2023: Article in Transformation of Religion: 'Differentiating the Social Dimension of Religion' by Karsten Lehmann 

2023: ÖRF-article by Karsten Lehmann / Anne Koch / Halid Akpinar / Aleksandra Jaramaz / Erdal Kalayci / Alexandra Katzian / Eva Salvador / Monika Wagner / Elisabeth Walcherberger and Sonja Waldner

International Workshop at the Krupp Kolleg (University Greifswald)

Interesting theoretical reference



3. Implementation of ‘interreligious competence’

The debates around the concept of ‘interreligious competence’ have become a central focus of the controversies around religious diversity in the educational sector. Throughout the last decade, they have developed into an integral part of the debates in pedagogy and educational policies. Correspondingly, the members of the Special Research Area are working towards the implementation of ‘interreligious competence’ in the context of research as well as practical activities.


Educational Material for the Exhibition "Religiöse Vielfalt an Wiener Schulen der Zwischenkriegszeit"
Project Lead: Alexandra Katzian

The travelling exhibition "Religiöse Vielfalt an Wiener Schulen der Zwischenkriegszeit" will be available until Mid 2023. In addition, it is also accessible online. Under the direction of Alexandra Katzian, the team in charge of the exhibition has also produced educational material. This material is based upon the concept of 'flipped classroom' and is meant to support teachers as well as learners.

Concept for teachers

Materials for learners - Level 1

Materials for learners - Level 2


Global Citizenship Education as a cross-cutting concern
Project management: Sabine Zelger

With the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) has created a worldwide frame of reference for dealing with central challenges of present-day societies. These impulses have been taken up and discussed in very different areas. The project attempts to make some of these impulses fruitful for research at the KPH. In particular, it refers to the concept of Global Citizenship Education (GCED). The SIR-Research Area places particular emphasis on the role of religion in these contexts.

GCEd - Programme of the Discourse Series in Summer Term 2023

GCEd - Programme of the Discourse Series in Summer Term 2022 

GCEd - Programme of the Discourse Series in Summer Term 2021