Excellent scientists and scholars of all nationalities who are expected to continue producing outstanding academic achievements in international collaboration – not least with the assistance of this award – are eligible to be nominated for the Max Planck Research Award.
On an annually-alternating basis, the call for nominations addresses areas within the natural and engineering sciences, the life sciences, and the social sciences and humanities.
The Max Planck Research Award 2015 will be conferred in the area of humanities and social sciences in the subject
Religion and Modernity: Secularisation and Social and Religious Pluralism.
The multidisciplinary field “Religion and Modernity: Secularisation and Social and Religious Pluralism” addresses a range of diverse fundamental, partly interconnected research questions with reference to the development and change of religious thought and practice on their way to modernity and up to the present time. Is the conventional equation between modernity and secularisation a valid one? To what extent is the system of values, which shapes modern culture and society, rooted in the Christian tradition of the Middle Ages or in that of the early modern period (individualism, human rights, the intrinsic value of a secular order in contrast to a spiritual one)? Other questions playing a role within this debate address the adaptability of different religious and confessional communities to the challenges of modernity, as well as the relationship between state/secular authority and church(es) or other religious communities in the recent past and particularly in our present time. Concepts which are important in this area are for example laicism (Laïcité) or “civil religion” or privileging large religious communities. Finally the rise of religious pluralism and the individualisation of religious experience are relevant phenomena for this topic.
Every year, the Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society grant two research awards to one researcher working abroad and one researcher working in Germany. These two awards will be bestowed independently.
The Presidents/Vice Chancellors of universities and the heads of research institutions in Germany are eligible to make nominations (c.f. list of eligible nominators). Direct applications are not accepted. As a rule, each award is endowed with 750,000 EUR and may be used over a period of three to a maximum of five years to fund research chosen by the award winner.