Ulrich Winkler Award for Comparative Theology and Study of Religions

uwa-logo“As Comparative Theology includes a widespread area of methodological presuppositions and religious traditions the subject of the Award is not limited to Comparative Theology as such, but is explicitly relevant for studies in Theology of Religions, Jewish-Christian Studies, Muslim-Christian Studies and theological comparative studies in the relations between Christianity and any other relevant religious traditions. 

The research perspective has to include reference to contemporary issues and “The signs of the times” as well as consequences for a contemporary spiritual and peaceful practice. The award fosters critical appreciative attitudes towards other religious traditions that encourage Christianity above all to release itself from exclusive and polemical truth claims, inherent resentments towards each alterity, and the painful and violent occupations of the believers` own souls, in order to deliver better solutions for humanity’s globally rapidly increasing issues.”
– Ulrich Winkler


Ulrich Winkler (1961-2021) was an Associate Professor at the University of Salzburg in the Department of Systematic Theology and the co-founder of the Centre for Intercultural Theology and the Study of Religions. In 2012/13 he was the Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard University. From 2016 to 2019 he held the Laurentius Klein Chair of Biblical and Ecumenical Theology at „Theologisches Studienjahr Jerusalem“ at Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem. His main research area was the theology of religion and comparative theology.

The Award is to be given to a dissertation or postdoctoral publication in the field of comparative theology and the study of religions in the German or English language, which takes into account the results of international research in a special way.
The award winner will receive the prize in the context of a lecture at the Crosscultural Religious Studies Summer School and the Salzburger Hochschulwochen. 

The Center for Intercultural Theology and the Study of Religions, of which Prof. Ulrich Winkler was a member, is responsible for the announcement. The prize money is 1000,- EUR, including travel expenses to Salzburg (up to 200 EUR) and one overnight stay. A board of trustees decides on the award – legal recourse is excluded.

Send your application for the award before April 15th 2024 by email to and include your thesis or book (submitted within the last 2 years), a CV and a letter of motivation (all in pdf format).

Award-winner 2023:

Mathias Schneider “Buddhist Interpretation of Jesus”,
Bettina Bäumer and Christian Hackbart Jonson for the project “Biographical Location of Interreligious Processes”

  Presse Release: Ulrich-Winkler-Award 2023 (German article)

Award-winner 2022:

Dr. Ikenna Paschal Okpaleke for his dissertation “Transformation through Dialogue: Ecumenical and Interreligious Identities in Nigeriawas” (Lexington: Minneapolis, 2020)

Presse Release: Ulrich-Winkler-Award 2022


  • Prof. Dr. Francis X. Clooney, Director Emeritus Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions 
  • Prof. Dr. Heinrich Schmidinger, President emeritus Paris Lodron University of Salzburg 

Executive directors:
Ute Winkler, Traunstein/Germany 
Prof. Dr. Martin Rötting, Salzburg/Austria

Board of Trustees:

  • Prof. Paul Michael Hedges, Interreligious Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU, Singapore 
  • Prof. Catherine Cornille, Comparative Theology Boston College 
  • Prof. Reinhold Bernhardt, Systematische Theologie, Universität Basel 
  • Prof. Perry Schmidt-Leukel, Religionswissenschaft und interkulturelle Theologie, Universität Münster 
  • Prof. David Cheetham, Philosophical Theology, Birmingham Centre for the Philosophy

If you want to donate towards the award it will help to foster further studies in the fields by encouraging young scholars. Please either transfer directly to the bank account given below or contact us:

Ulrich Winkler Award / Universität Salzburg
Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG
IBAN AT23 1200 0069 5383 4602
Please state “PSD604700_02” as purpose of use!

Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Martin Rötting
Centre for Intercultural Theology and Study of Religions,
Director Religious Studies, 
Paris Lodron University of Salzburg
Universitätsplatz 1, 5020 Salzburg | Austria
Tel.: +43(0)662/8044 – 2629,


Photographs: © Orinta Z. Rötting (1) I U. Winkler privat (2)