Events at and with Religious Studies 

13th Conference of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies “Euro-Buddhism and the Role of Christianity”

© Orinta Z. Rötting

June 30th – July 4th 2022, St. Virgil Salzburg (Ernst-Grein-Straße 14, Salzburg)

In the late 19th / early 20th century Buddhism began to be practised in Europe and was often presented by its European followers as a persuasive alternative to Christianity which had come under heavy attack from various sides. Buddhism in Europe was less a result of missionary activities from Asian countries than the consequence of propagation by Europeans, who studied Buddhism through various literary sources. However, European Buddhists sought connections to Asian countries from a comparatively early stage onwards, and organizations such as the Mahābodhi Society came to play an important role. Tensions between Buddhism and Christianity in the West’s Asian colonies and the critique of Christianity in the West had their reciprocal impact on each other.

Whereas in the early days of European Buddhism the focus was predominantly on Theravāda, after the Second World War Western interest shifted to Japanese Zen-Buddhism and, somewhat later, to Tibetan Buddhism. Increasingly also other forms of Buddhism (such as Pure Land or Nichiren Buddhism) became present in Europe. Immigrants from Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam brought along their local forms of Buddhism and established their own centres. While some of these immigrant communities kept largely to themselves, other forms of Asian Buddhism, as for example “Inter-Being”, opened their home traditions and adopted distinctly European and even Christian elements. Today, then, Buddhism in Europe exists in a large variety of forms and with different degrees of individual belonging and/or commitment. Nowhere in Asia are so many different types of Buddhisms present in one particular society as is now the case in a number of European countries.

The European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies (ENBCS) ( is dedicated to the academic study of Buddhist-Christian relations around the world. While some of its conferences have focused on issues of doctrinal dialogue and religious practice, others have had a more regional emphasis (“Buddhist-Christian Relations in Asia”, St. Ottilien, Germany 2015) or dealt with certain challenges emerging from a modern mindset (e.g. “History as a Challenge to Buddhism and Christianity”, Drongen, Belgium 2013). The 2021 conference will combine these research interests: it will investigate the development of Buddhism in Europe from its beginnings until today and inquire particularly about the role of Christianity in the emergence of what might be called “Euro-Buddhism”. Christianity is still a major factor in European culture. Any form of Buddhism that interacts with European culture or even attempts to adapt to Europe in order to create genuine forms of Western Buddhism will therefore also have to reflect on its relation – whether hostile or hospitable – to Christianity. Apart from looking at the development and present state of Buddhism in Europe, the 2021 conference of the ENBCS will explore the complex relationship between Buddhism and Christianity, as mediated by European culture, by highlighting three issues that are of particular relevance to this relationship: the challenge of secularism, the challenge of gender justice and the challenge of creolization or hybridization.

Information, Speakers and Registration:

(in Cooperation with the University of Salzburg – Religious Studies)

Master in Religious Studies – information-meeting

July 12th 2021, 06:00 pm – online-link:

this meeting will be held in German

25.02.-26.02.2020: Public – Religion & Space

Tagung Public: Religion & SpaceThe conference “Public: Religion & Space” will take place on February 25th and 26th, 2020 at the Catholic Theological Faculty Salzburg, HS 104.
On the conference, both for theoretical foundations and well as practical examples will be discussed.
How does religion reflect itself in public space?
Are there comparable or different forms of modern religious space production in urban space and in nature?

On the conference, both for theoretical foundations and well as practical examples will be discussed. How does religion reflect itself in public space? Are there comparable or different forms of modern religious space production in urban space and in nature?
Houses of religions, fireplaces on river banks, spaces of prayer at the airport: space is created by and with human action. The production of space (Henri Lefebvre) goes new ways in religious space through the “many altars of modernity” (Peter L. Berger), especially in the public sphere, which remains a transformed religious space with secularization (Casanova).


Univ.-Prof. DDr. H.J. SanderUniv.-Prof. DDr. H.J. Sander
Born 1959 in Saarland, Studied Catholic Theologian Since 2002 Professor of Dogmatics at the University of Salzburg. Research topics Systematic Theology: Second Vatican Council, topology of religion and spatial turn in God-talk.
“Religious places – contested spaces. Why religious practices empower or depower places to get a hold on people” Simone Simone Sinn
Born in 1975, she studied Protestant Theology in Bethel, Heidelberg and Tübingen and Ecumenical Studies in Dublin. From 2009 she worked as a research assistant in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster and completed her dissertation project on religious pluralism in 2012. Since 2013, she has been responsible for interreligious relations in the Theology Department of the Lutheran World Federation. Since 2019 she has been Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Interreligious Relations at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey (Geneva). “Religion and public space: case study of Indonesia” Milda Ališauskiené Milda Ališauskiené  
Milda Ališauskienė is professor at the Department of Political Sciences at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania.
Her research interests include religion in the post-socialist society, religion and state relations, religious diversity, religious fundamentalism and new religions. She has published more than 20 scientific articles on religion in contemporary Lithuania and the Baltic States and contributed to collective monographs and studies on social exclusion of minority religions and on the process of secularization in Lithuania.
In 2011 together with Ingo W. Schroeder she co-edited a volume “Religious Diversity in Post-Soviet Society” (Ashgate, since 2016 – Routledge). In 2014 after completion of the national scientific project “Cognition of Religious Diversity in Lithuania: Forms of Alternative Religiosity” funded by Lithuanian Council for Research together with colleagues she published a public scholarship book “Religious Diversity in Lithuania: Portraits, Festivals and Everyday Lives”
M. Ališauskienė in 2015-2017 served as a president for the International Society for the Study of New Religions (ISSNR). Since 2014 serves as a general secretary for the International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA). And since 2015 serves as a member of executive board of International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR). In 2016 she spent five months as a Fulbright visiting scholar at the University of California in Santa Barbara.
“Religion in the Baltics”  

Prof. Dr. Albert LichtblauProf. Dr. Albert Lichtblau
Historian. Professor at the Department of History until 2019 and Deputy Director of the Centre for Jewish Cultural History at the University of Salzburg.
“Jüdisches Leben und öffentlicher Raum am Beispiel Salzburgs” (“Jewish Life and Public Space in Salzburg”)  

Ass.-Prof. Mag. Mag. Dr. Dr. Helmut Jakob Deibl, Pd.Prof. Dr. Jakob Deibl
Jakob Deibl is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Vienna and Scientific Manager of the RaT Research Center.  I completed my studies in Catholic Theology and Independent Religious Education in Salzburg and Vienna. From 2008 to 2011 I worked as a predoc assistant at the Institute for Fundamental Theology at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Vienna. During this time, I was able to do my doctorate on Gianni Vattimo. The dissertation has been published with a foreword by Vattimo as the fifth volume of the series “Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society”. In 2012 I was a guest lecturer at the Pontifico Istituto Sant’Anselmo in Rome for one semester. From 2013 to 2018 I worked as a postdoctoral assistant at the Institute of Systematic Theology in the Department of Basic Theological Research at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Vienna (formerly “Institute for Fundamental Theology”). From 2018 to 2019 I was a research associate at the Pontifico Ateneo Sant’Anselmo in Rome.”Scared Architecture Between Opening and Occupation of Spaces”

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin RöttingProf. Dr. Martin Rötting
Dr. phil. habil., born 1970 in Germany, married, 2 children, studied pedagogics of religion. He had practical training in Zen-Buddhism in South Korea and studied Ecumenism and interfaith relations at the Irish School of Ecumenics ( ISE), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (M. Phil.). He finished is doctoral dissertation in Religious Studies  2007 on  Interreligious Learning in Buddhist Christian Dialogue. With Case Stadies in Germany and South Korea.  (St. Ottilien, 2007) with Michael von Brück (LMU Munich). He worked as religion teacher, chaplain and expert on international relations and interfaith dialogue at the students chaplaincy of LMU Munich. He is founder and chair of OCCURSO, and NGO and Institute of intercultural and interreligious encounter.  In  2018 Habilitation at LMU Munich on the topic of  “Spiritual identity in an interreligious world. An empirical study in Munich, New York, Vilnius, Seoul and New York.” Since winter semester 2018 Professor of Religious Studies at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg.
„Houses of religions as urban endowers of meaning”

Status of adopted papers today.
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