HS-Prof. Dr. habil. Karsten Lehmann

Karsten Lehmann is a sociologist as well as a scholar of Religious Studies. He holds degrees from Lancaster University (Master in Religious Studies), the University of Tübingen (Doctorate in Sociology), and Bayreuth University (Post-Doctoral in Religious Studies). 
Curriculum vitae

As far as his own research is concerned, Karsten Lehmann is primarily interested in religious plurality on the borders between the religious and other social fields – such as education, politics, or arts. So far, his publications have inter alia been dealing with new religious movements, the religious associations of immigrants, as well as the role of religiously affiliated actors in international politics.

Further areas of major research:

• Local religious networks and networks of civil society
• Interreligious relationships / interreligious dialogue
• Religiously legitimated violence
• Religions and (international) politics
• Methods in the empirical study of religions

Prior to his professorship at the KPH Vienna/Krems, Karsten Lehmann worked as Visiting Fellow at the 'Observatoire des Religions en Suisse’ of the Université de Lausanne / Switzerland as well as at the ‚Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affairs’ of Georgetown University / USA. During the academic year 2012/13 he worked as Visiting Professor at the Religious Studies Chair of Prof. Dr. Oliver Krüger at the Université de Fribourg / Switzerland. After this second extensive stay in Switzerland, Karsten Lehmann became the ‘Head of Social Sciences and Statistics (3S)’ at the Research Department of the KAICIID – International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (which was closed in February 2016). Besides his position with the KPH, Prof. Dr. Karsten Lehmann is also working as a Visiting Professor for the empirical Study of Religions at the University of Greifswald, a Senior Research Fellow at one of the Chairs for Religious Studies at Vienna University as well as a member of the Research Center ‘Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society’.


Alexandra Katzian, B.A. M.A. - at the moment on leave

Alexandra Katzian is a scholar of Religious Studies and a PhD candidate at the University of Salzburg. After completing her bachelor's degree in Political Science, with a major in sociology, she went for a Masters degree in Religious Studies. Starting July 2018 Alexandra Katzian is working on her Doctorate Thesis in Philosophy of Religious Studies. Her head advisor is Prof. Dr. Anton Bucher  and  Assoz. Prof. Dr. Minas Dimitriou  is her second advisor. The topic of her thesis centers around religious aspects found in today's soccer fan cultures.

Her main research focus lies on popular religion, plurality and daily life between different religious groups and the big question regarding the motivation of peoples actions when interacting with one another. Another big interest of her, stemming from her background in the tourism industry, is correlations between tourism and religion such as religious or spiritual traveling.

Further areas of major research:

  • new religious movements
  • Rituals
  • fan culture from a religious aspect
  • Sports and Religion
  • Religion and Law, Legal System, Human Rights



Prof. Dr. Anne Koch

Anne Koch is a Scholar of Religion, a Theologist as well as as Philosopher. In her research she combines models from Cognitive Sciences and neo-institutional economy to better understand present-day religion and spirituality.

In her research Koch focuses on :

  • Religion-Competence
  • Religious Plurality
  • Religions in Europe
  • Method and Theory of the Study of Religion
  • Economy of Religion as well as 
  • Esthetics of Religion

For the last years Anne has been working at the Pädagogischen Hochschule der Diözese Linz (PHDL) and closely coopperating with the SIR-research focus within the context of ‚Religion_Pluralität. She just moved to the University of  Freiburg.

Weitere Informationen: 

Gernot Stanfel

Gernot Galib Stanfel is musical therapit as wll as teacher for music and creativ design.

Triggered by his interest in muslim arts, Stanfel started to work on the influeces of Islam on Austrian society. along those lines he raised e.g. the interest in the founder of the 'Red Crescent' Dr. Abdullah Karl Hammerschidt and conceptualized / organized an exhibition on „Ostarrichislam“ - inter alia under display at the universities of Innsbruck,Salzburg, Graz and Osnabrück as well as the Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur. Stanfel teaches at the Institute of Islamic Religion at theKPH Vienna / Krems. He is in charge of a working group on interreligious dialogue

Further research and scholarly interests:

  • Inclusion in muslim education
  • practice of pedagogy at school 
  • use of musid in education

Gernot Stanfel ist part of the team of the exhibition 'Religiöse Vielfalt an Wiener Schulen der Zwischenkriegszeit'.


Former colleagues:

Dr. Adem Aygün

Adem Aygün is a Muslim educator who comes from an Islamic Studies-, Theology- and Educational Studies background. He holds degrees from the University of Sakarya (Master in Philosophy and Religious Studies) and the University of Bielefeld (Doctorate in Religious Education).

His research interest focuses on religious socialization and faith development of Muslim adolescents in cultural comparison. He is also interested in Islamic theological studies and their implementation at school as well as in the Islamic community - especially in the European context. So far, his publications are inter alia dealing with the learning and teaching of Islam within modern Muslim majority and minority contexts.

Further major areas of research: 

  •     Islamic Empirical and Practical Theology
  •     Textbook development
  •     Interreligious learning and dialogue 
  •     Psychology of Religion

Prior to teaching and research at the Institute for Research and Development KPH Dr Aygün worked as a research associate at the Justus Liebig University Gießen (from 2011 to 2017). In the academic year 2017-18 he was director of the Institute for Islamic Religion KPH Vienna / Krems.


Dr.in Edith Petschnigg

Edith Petschnigg is a theologian and historian and studied history, the interdisciplinary program Stage, Film, and other Media (M.A.), and Catholic Theology (M.A., Ph.D.) in Graz.  

Her primary research interest is interreligious dialogue with a focus on Jewish-Christian dialogue in Austria and Germany after 1945. Her interests extend to biblical reception, in particular in the context of war and persecution in the 20th century. Her publications deal with receptions of the Bible in Jewish exile literature and Jewish-Christian grassroots initiatives. She has also published articles addressing topics in the study of the consequences of war. 

Further research and scholarly interests include:

  • Feminist theology and exegesis
  • Anti-Judaism in the past and present
  • Research on consequences of war
  • Oral history as a method in qualitative research

Edith Petschnigg began teaching at the KPH Wien/Krems at the Department of Religious Education in the area of biblical studies in winter semester 2015/16. Since September 2016 she has been working in cooperation with the Interreligious Studies special research program. Prior to her teaching and research activities at the KPH she worked as an FWF project member. In addition to being involved in various ecclesial fields of practice, including pastoral practicum, she also served as a student employee at the Department of Old Testament Studies at the University of Graz and project employee at the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for the Research on Consequences of War in Graz.


Dr.in Edda Strutzenberger-Reiter

Edda Strutzenberger-Reiter is working as a Pedagogue of Religion, Coach and Trainer. She achieved her master and doctorial degree in Catholic Theology and Pedagogics of Religion via the Universities of Vienna and Lund (Sweden).

Her scientific expertise is Religious Diversity, School Development, School Pedagogics and School Research such as Gender and Diversity in the context of religious plurality. Her main focus is the pedagogically funded handling of diversity and the influence of diversity on pedagogically motivated action.

Further research interests are:

• Intersectionality
• Violence and Violence Prevention
• Interreligious Learning
• Ethical Learning
• Pedagogics and the Professionality of teachers

Prior to her research and teaching position at the KPH Wien/Krems (since fall 2013) Edda Strutzenberger-Reiter was research assistant at the Institute of Practical Theology/Pedagogics of Religion at the University of Vienna as well as research assistant in various projects at the University of Vienna and the KPH Wien/Krems.