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Call for applications: Postdoctoral researcher at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

2021-12-14 12:42 | ESSWE admin (Administrator)

New esotericism-related Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Kollegforschungsgruppe) at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany): call for applications

The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) has recently approved the foundation of a Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Kollegforschungsgruppe) on the topic ‘Alternative Rationalities and Esoteric Practices from a Global Perspective’ at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. The Centre’s main goal is to compare the interpretation, rationalisation and legimitisation strategies of esoteric practices from a global perspective, and to carve out why they are successful in different cultural and regional contexts. A mid-term goal is the development of a cultural theory of esoteric practices, which seeks to explain their resilience, their typological similarities across a large number of cases, and their different, culture-bound evaluations. The research group adopts a heuristic working definition of ‘esoteric practices’, which includes a variety of aspects such as contingency management, specialisation, opaque efficacy as well as social dynamics of inclusion and exclusion.

DFG-funded Centres for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences are interdisciplinary research groups with an excellent international reputation. They have a funding period of four years, with the possibility of prolongation for a second funding period, and combine an international fellowship programme with local high-profile research, whereby a large number of leading experts have the possibility to convene and explore an innovative research topic over a long period of time. With a local staff of at least eight employees, and available funding for up to seven fellowships per year, the Centre will be one of the biggest esotericism-focused research projects in the world in the years to come.

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is seeking to appoint a postdoctoral researcher for the scientific coordination of this research group. The salary is based on the German collective agreement for public servants (TVL), level E14 (100 %). The duration of the position is bound to the approved funding period of four years. The preferred starting date is 1 April 2022. One of the main requirements for the position is fieldwork experience with a focus on esoteric practices in African contexts.

More details on this call for applications can be found here:

For further details about the position, please contact Dr. Bernd-Christian Otto:

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