Study Group “Text & Textuality”

Without aiming to proclaim a veritable crisis of text and textuality in the humanities, a progressive decrease of interest for the phenomenon “text” can be established in the human and social sciences alongside with an increasing attention toward visual media.

Especially in poststructuralist and cultural science oriented approaches to the so-called “text” the phenomenon is broadened beyond the possibility of precisely capturing its implications. However such a de-ontologisation of the classic notion of “text” is related to a partially aggressive re-ontologisation of “text”, which is just as problematic: it is quite possible to speak of a trend of wording-fundamentalisms of religious, technical, moralistic or legal nature. Neo-fundamentalist Christian as well as Islamic movements insist on a single unequivocal wording of holy texts such as the Bible or the Qur’an, established and standardised by God for all times; questions upon the authenticity of certain passages or their interpretation are expected to be resolved solely by technical means of algorithmic text-sequencing; emphasising “political correctness” and discovering actual as well as alleged “micro-aggressions” in speech and text also contributes to standardising a very narrow canon of possible and thereby authorised statements or interpretations.

The research interest of the study group is directed toward the functioning and the functions of texts in the range of literary and media studies, of social sciences and history, of theology and legal studies. These practices and the methods deriving from them shall be described through close observation, compared and categorised. All the involved disciplines are to profit from the impulses of the scholarly discussions between the members who will be meeting twice a year.

The programmatic aim of the study group is to stabilise a research context of paradigmatic significance for the historical-hermeneutical sciences. It intends to perform a fundamental reflection for the humanities, which does the groundwork for stabilising common identities, free of any imprudent harmonisation of differences.

Principal investigators
Markschies, Christoph Prof. Dr. Dres. h. c. (Details) (Ancient History of Christianity)

Fritz Thyssen Stiftung

Duration of project
Start date: 10/2019
End date: 11/2021

Last updated on 2022-22-12 at 04:05