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Inaugural Lecture by Daniel König

Jun 03, 2015

Prof. Dr. Daniel König gave his inaugural lecture on June 3, at 12 noon, in the "Alte Aula" of Heidelberg University. The Start-up Professor for Transcultural Studies talked about different macro-historical approaches to the historical relations between Europe and the Islamic sphere.

The lecture entitled "Verfreundete Nachbarn, ungleiche Schwestern, Eurabia? 'Europa' und 'die islamische Welt' zwischen Mittelalter und Gegenwartsbezug" addressed the problems of categorization confronted by every scholar trying to define 'Europe', 'the Islamic world' as well as their relations from a macro-historical point of view. Historical research has so far proffered three main interpretations of this relationship: Europe and the Islamic world as neighbouring and often antagonistic cultures, Europe and the Islamic world as two different variants of a late antique model of cultural syncretism defined as "Judeo-Hellenistic", finally Europe and the Islamic world as one single cultural sphere marked by parallel variants of a monotheistic world view. In the lecture, Prof. Dr. König showed that these interpretations form part of a public discourse reacting to current social and geopolitical problems and are also present in scholarly discourse on various topics of medieval history.  Although they are hardly tenable from a transcultural perspective, they are nonetheless highly influential as mental constructions of social and political relevance.

Prof. Dr. Daniel König is Start-up Professor in Transcultural Studies (Humanities) at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe". He studied Study of Medieval and Modern History, Political Science, Near Eastern and Islamic Studies and German as a Foreign Language at Bonn University. In 2006, he obtained a PhD in Medieval History at the same institution. Subsequently, he worked at the German Institute of History in Paris and at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Since 2012, he coordinates the research network "Transkulturelle Verflechtungen im mittelalterlichen Euromediterraneum (500-1500)" financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The inaugural lecture by Prof. Dr. König was held in German and took place on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, in the main auditorium "Alte Aula" of the University of Heidelberg, followed by a reception in the Bel Etage.


  • Photos of the event

  • Collage by Daniel König