Faculty Research Focuses


Since the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Protestant Theology is internationally networked, and since it plays a leading role as Austria’s only university research institution for Protestant Theology (especially in fields of research which arise from the regional context), the Faculty’s research strategy for the coming years is designed

  • to develop a research-profile which optimally allocates the resources and structures of the Faculty to the existing focuses, and which is capable of external networking and being effectively implemented,
  • with the intention, thus to strengthen the Faculty’s international significance and appeal,
  • while at the same time, intensifying the potential for cooperations in the Vienna area, and
  • in particular expanding the [current] collaboration with the Faculty of Catholic Theology, in order to develop the University of Vienna into an internationally attractive location for ecumenical theology.

Topic Area and Research Focuses

The Faculty seeks to reach its objectives through the two fields of research, “Sources of Christianity” and “Religion and Theology in a Multicultural Society”, which comprehend two and four research focuses respectively.

Sources of Christianity:
Interpretation of the Christianity in the context of the ancient world

The Bible is the main source of Christianity and a central document of Western culture and intellectual history. Thus, the scholarly study of these texts is indispensable for Protestant theology.

Sources of Christianity:
Biblical and Christian Archaeology

This emphasis focuses on the hermeneutical conditions necessary for the interpretation of the source-texts. It  requires interdisciplinary cooperation of Old and New Testament Studies, Church History, and Biblical and Christian Archaeology. The archaeological tradition of the Faculty is to be further expanded.      

Religion and Theology in a Multicultural Society:
The Reception of the Bible in the Context of Modernity

Especially for Protestant Theology, the reception of the Bible in the context of modernity and its hermeneutical questions have gained in importance ever since the 2nd World War – a task that can  only be interdisciplinarily explored.

Religion and Theology in a Multicultural Society:
The Perception of Religion in Pluralistic Society

Since the 2nd World War, in view of the Theology of Religions and  in secular Western society, the God-question has increasingly gained importance, above all as regards the Philosophy of Religions. The accomplishments as well as the dedication of professorships of the Faculty speak for the Faculty’s systematic exploration of this array of questions.

Religion and Theology in a Multicultural Society:
Protestantism in Southeastern Europe and in Ecumenism

Protestantism in the region of Southeastern Europe, its history, development and importance, is a proprium of the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Vienna, and in a specific sense, represents the Genius Loci. In this respect, the Faculty has taken on a leading role in this area.

Religion and Theology in a Multicultural Society:
Theology and Ethics in the Discourse of the Sciences

For a considerable time, the societal demand for ethical judgment has been increasing, which however, is simultaneously hindered by modern pluralism.

The cooperation with the Faculty of Catholic Theology is to be continued in the areas of ecumenical ethics and bio- and medical ethics. Focus is placed on questions of anthropology and interreligious medical and nursing ethics.

Prioritization of the Research Focuses

The research focuses of the Faculty are prioritized as follows:First of all, and equally ranked, are the research focuses: Interpretation of the sources of Christianity in the context of the ancient world, biblical and Christian archeology, the perception of religion in pluralistic society, and theology and ethics in the discourse of the sciences. Following subsequently, in this order, are the research focuses: Bible-reception in the context of modernity and Protestantism in Southeastern Europe and in ecumenism.