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At the Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, research is conducted in Comparative Literature, in History of Ideas and Science, and in Religious Studies and Theology.

The main research interest in Comparative Literature is centred on the character, function, and history of literary text. In Gothenburg particular emphasis is placed on Scandinavian, above all Swedish literature, mainly from the last few centuries. However, there is also a vivid interest in literature from older periods such as the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. A number of approaches are represented at the department: reception studies and research about literary criticism, literary history, biography, sociology of literature, popular fiction, cultural studies, genre studies, prosody, rhetorical, thematic and comparative studies, literature didactics, theatre history, drama studies, and gender-oriented literature studies.

Research in History of Ideas and Science covers wide areas of the history of intellectual culture. The researchers explore historical aspects of sets of ideas about such diverse areas as prostitution, nuclear waste, identity, museums, and popular science. At the University of Gothenburg the discipline is geared towards classical works of philosophy to a greater extent than at other Swedish universities. In this connection there is also an interest in hermeneutical problems. Gender and postcolonialism are other lines of research pursued at Gothenburg. A dominating methodological approach is that of conceptual history. Swedish topics are also explored, but Swedish history of ideas plays a larger role at other universities. There is a certain emphasis on contemporary topics; however, the Early Modern period is also studied, and the research about modern philosophical classics is indirectly connected with an interest in the history of philosophy.

The aim of the academic pursuit of Religious Studies and Theology is to understand and to reflect critically on the role and function of religion in human history and in contemporary life. At the University of Gothenburg research is conducted in all areas of Religious Studies, i.e. in the History of Religions, Systematic Theology, Religious Behavioural Studies, the History of Christianity, and Bible Studies. Our research includes critical and constructive studies of the function, changes, and interpretation of religion from historical as well as contemporary perspectives. Religious Studies and Theology give insight into historical processes, encounters, and conflicts among religious ideas and communities, and into hermeneutics – knowledge which is becoming increasingly relevant in our multireligious and multicultural society as well as in various religious communities.

Contact Information

Johan Kärnfelt, Associate Head of Department for Research

Box 200, 405 30 Göteborg

Visiting Address:
Lundgrensgatan 1B

+46 (0)31 786 4526

Page Manager: Elin Widfeldt|Last update: 2/17/2009

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-06