In the following, you will get a first impression of the projects currently being worked on within the framework of G_NET. If you are interested in further details, the project partners look forward to hearing from you.



The European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (ESITIS) is an integral partner for G_NET. On 25 March 2021 ESITIS and G_NET will host a free webinar looking at the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on interreligious relationships, on religious observance and ritual, and on religious communities in relation to issues of race.

In 2022, ESITIS will hold its bi-annual conference on the topic of “Sacred Protest: Religion, Power, and Resistance in an Era of Upheaval” in Bonn. Analysis of the complex interrelations of religion and modern protest movements highlights pervasive anxieties that then are taken up in religious discourses. Religion and protest converge and diverge and in pursuit of various ends, making careful analysis of religion and protest, as a prototypical manifestation of transcultural pressures, necessary. 1. Which religious actors protest, when, why and how? 2. Which traditional resources are called upon in the service of or resistance to protest? 3. Where do conditions for trans-religious cooperation or horizontal solidarity appear and why? 4. And how are protest and religion to be studied, with which methods, and at what level of involvement? 5. What are the values, emotions and possibilities for renewal in religiously motivated or censored protest?

Visit for more information and to register!

Project Partners: Dr. Matthew Ryan Robinson (Protestant Theological Faculty, RFW University of Bonn); Dr. Ikenna Paschal Okpaleke (Institut für Hermeneutik, Protestant Theological Faculty, RFW University of Bonn); Prof. Dr. Yaser Ellethy (Vrije Universität Amsterdam); ESITIS

What Does Theology Do, Actually?

What Does Theology Do, Actually? is a symposium and book series devoted to transcultural and transdisciplinary analysis of evolving forms and functions of the traditional Christian-theological disciplines. Central to the purposes of the What Does Theology Do, Actually? series is to observe, document, and describe the functions of theological knowledge production and communication as that knowledge/those communications are experienced, cultivated, and used in varying knowledge production contexts. WDTD seeks not to do theology but to observe what theology does. 

What Does Theology Do, Actually? 2 was held from 9-10 July 2021 and devoted to the field of Exegesis. Exegesis has long been characterized by a broad disciplinary diversity, but also ambiguity, combining biblical studies, exegesis, early Jewish studies, early Christian studies, Ancient Near Eastern studies, Greco-Roman and classical studies in various ways. This is to say nothing of the more recent development of contextual and engaged exegesis as reflected in feminist, liberation, postcolonial and queer Biblical exegesis. How and why scholars study the Bible varies, not only across confessional or cultural contexts, but across institutional-academic contexts. WDTD2 approached these complex methodological questions diagonally via sociological questions about the interrelations of context, institutions, and knowledge production.

What Does Theology Do, Actually? 3 will be held from 7-9 July 2022 and devoted to the discipline of Church History with an ecumenical emphasis asking: "To what extent is it possible to narrate an ecumenical history of the Christianity, and what difference would it make to narrate the history of Christianity ecumenically." For more information, contact

Project Partners: Dr. Matthew Ryan Robinson (Protestant Theological Faculty, RFW University of Bonn); Dr. Phillip Andrew Davis (Protestant Theological Faculty, RFW University of Bonn); Dr. Daniel Lanzinger (Catholic Theological Faculty, RFW University of Bonn); Dean Prof. Dr. David Joy (Kerala Theological Seminary Rivandrum)

For more details see WDTDA.

© Matthew Ryan Robinson

VW Project
© Volkswagen; Twitter / X

Transcultural Semantics of Resilience

The project "The role of transcultural semantics and symbols for resilience during the Corona pandemic – a hermeneutic approach to historical and intercultural expressions of severe crisis", funded by the Volkswagenstiftung, seeks to analyze the ways religious actors have drawn upon their traditions’ conceptual and symbolic resources when communicating about the pandemic in digital settings and modes as a way of processing the pandemic experience.

The guiding research questions are to what extent digital religious communications might be significant as a factor in community resilience, and which forms of digital communication play the biggest role and how?

The project attempts to address these hermeneutical questions empirically through application of basic quantitative data analysis methods to data gathered from public communication in social media spaces. A sample database was generated of nearly 1.4 million tweets from the period 1 Jan 2019 to 1 Sept 2021 – around 1 million of those from a representative cross-section of all twitter communications and about 400.000 from accounts of ecumenical, diaconic/social-justice oriented, and interreligious groups. Based on initial findings, the development of much larger and more focused datasets are being planned for 2022.

Communication volume is assessed for affectedness by the pandemic; sentiment analyses are conducted to assess positive/negative outlook and to examine outlook, expectation, surprise, trust, and other similar attitudes; topic modeling is used to analyze more specifically the use of religious communication in connection with pandemic-related terms. For more information, contact

Digital Religious Communication and Community Resilience

The project "Digital Religious Communications as a Community Resilience Factor during the Pandemic", working in tandem with the VW project, explores religious uses of digital communications forms and the possible significances of digital religious communications as a social resilience factor. 

The purposes of this research are (1) to examine the ways religious and even theological language is used in digital spaces to process adversity, (2) in so doing, to identify possible effects of digital religious communications on social resilience, and (3) to explore the possibility that, due to the transcultural (local-global) nature of such environments, digital religious communications might be instrumental in reinterpreting or even forging new social semantics that play a significant role in "democratic resilience".

© TRA 4

© Matthew Ryan Robinson

Theo-logics of Protest

Coming soon.

See also


Get to know the people involved with the project.


Global Network for Excellence in Theology (G_NET) in Bonn.

Intercultural Theology

Find out more about Intercultural Theology at the University of Bonn.

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