At times when religion is increasingly expected to provide simplistic answers, a historical perspective is all the more important. The historical view describes religions as contingent entities. As such they determine societies and cultures in many ways and are themselves subject to manifold influences. They exist in various phenotypes, which in part differ considerably from each other and indicate substantial change in the course of history. They can appropriately be described and comprehended only in this variety and diversity. Furthermore religions often influence each other. Particularly the focus on formative religion reveals, that “religions” are all the while “interreligious” and “intercultural” entities. Only in a historical perspective one can also analyze the conflict potential of religions, and the focus on the early period of a specific religion is relevant in this respect as well.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are in their mutual relationships determined by various scenarios of differentiation and dissociation, which down to the present day continue to have an effect in a conflictual manner. In four short papers the topic of emerging religion will be discussed in the exemplary cases of the ancient Greek deities, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Following the short papers a discussion with the audience is envisaged. Speakers will be Prof. Dr. Rainer Thiel (Classics), Prof. Dr. Uwe Becker (Old Testament), Prof. Dr. Manuel Vogel (New Testament), and Dr. Constance Hartung (Religious Studies).