Doctorate in Religious Studies

Degree:Dr. phil.
Duration:6 semester
Total extent:180 ECTS points composed of
150 ECTS points: thesis and doctoral viva
30 ECTS points: two colloquia, two courses and additional merits such as publications, presentation at a conference
Language:German, English
Required qualifications:completion of a Master’s degree, diploma programme or secondary school teacher accreditation programme or an equivalent programme at a recognised domestic or international tertiary educational institution
Goal:academically innovative contribution


Current Dissertations

  • Anna Alabd: Autonomy and self-determination of women from Christianity and Islam as a challenge for interreligious/intercultural ethics

  • Julia Feldbauer: The Land of Israel as an Area of Conflict in the Jewish-Catholic Dialogue. A theological Analysis of the Concept “Land”

  • Alina Knoflach: The potential of prospective and interreligious-spiritual practices to positively influence subjective integration experiences from the perspective of refugees

  • Peter Ekumi Nekongo: Boko-Haram Challenges to Religious Identity and Interreligious Relations in the Sub-Saharan Regions of Africa

  • Sarah Pieslinger: The significance of spiritual influencers in the context of social, spiritual and religious transformation processes: a discourse and biographical analysis perspective using the example of David Steindl-Rast and Ayya Khema

  • Richard Schmidjell: Locations of new religious communities and their effencts on regional planning and integration – presented on the example of the federal state of Salzburg

  • Albert Younas: The Christian minority of Pakistan. Social and Culture Shaping their Religious Situation

Completed Dissertations


  • Graham Wiseman:
    Corporate Designing Religion. Transforming the visual identities of religious institutions in the digital era.
    (PhD-Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Rötting, PhD Co-Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Peter Winkler)


  • Lina Aschenbrenner:
    The Gaga-Effect – A Body-Focused Ethnography on the Aesthetics and Body Knowledge of a Neo-Spiritual Israeli Movement Practice
    (PhD Supervisor: Prof. Dr.  Anne Koch; PhD Co-Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Susanne Plietzsch)
  • Sarah Franziska Tran-Huu:
    D Die Faszination alternativer Spiritualität
    Eine religionspsychologische Studie zur Identitätsfindung, Bedürfnisbefriedung und Körperlichkeit im Konversionsprozess zur neureligiösen Gruppe Terra Sagrada
    (PhD Supervisor: Prof. Dr.  Anne Koch; PhD Co-Supervisor: Prof. Dr.  Sebastian Murken)


  • Andrea Müller:
    Beyond the Senses through the Senses.
    Aesthetic examination of a South Indian ashram
    (PhD Supervisor: Prof. Dr.  Frank Heidemann; PhD Co-Supervisor: Prof. Dr.  Anne Koch)


  • Bettina Brandstetter:
    Homogenization and pluralization.
    The place of kindergarden education in the context of heterogeneous cultures and religions
    (PhD-Supervisor: Univ.-Prof. DDr. Franz Gmainer-Pranzl; PhD Co-Supervisor: Prof. Dr.  Anne Koch)