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Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

The Institute is dedicated to the multi-disciplinary study of diversity in historical and contemporary societies, particularly concerning ethnic and religious forms and dynamics. Such work entails basic empirical research aimed at theoretical development.

Some upcoming events


10 June 2015, 14:15-16:00: Manuel Schwab (Makerere Institute of Social Research, Kampala, Uganda) will give a lecture on "The human becomes a vicious circle: objects of belief, displaced units of responsibility, and the tensions of diversity in homicide regulations in Sudan".  more

Religious Diversity Colloquium Spring 2015

27 May 2015 (Wednesday !!! 15:30-17:00): Webb Keane (University of Michigan) will give a lecture on "Mediating Piety: A Qur’anic Quarrel in Indonesia". more

African Diversities Colloquium Spring/Summer 2015

1 June 2015, 16:30-18:00, Seminar room Villa: Peter Kankonde (MPI-MMG) will discuss a paper on "Afterwards: reflections on the necessity for ‘ontological turn’ in African studies with reference to religion and migration ecologies of knowledge production"more

News & updates

Sardar Patel Award

Uday Chandra has been awarded the Sardar Patel Award for the best doctoral dissertation on any aspect of modern India - social sciences, humanities, education and fine arts.

Otto Hahn Medal


Tilmann Heil was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal for 2014. The medal is awarded to junior scientists in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement.

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Prize 2015


Marian Burchardt was awarded the most prestigious prize for young researchers in Germany for his work on 'multiple secularities' in different societies.

Global Diversities book series

Global Diversities Book Series launched at the Academy of Urban Super-diversity.  more

Online lectures

Job offers

Diversity interviews

Recent interview with Ben Gidley (COMPAS, University of Oxford)

I'm primarily an urban researcher. I research cities and city neighborhoods and social life in cities. So it's both an inescapable fact of city life in Britain and everywhere and an interest of mine is the fact of diversity, the everyday lived reality of diversity – not diversity as policy or as philosophical orientation but just this share of facticity of mixedness and living together. So I guess multiculture or multicultural drift is a historical causa. ... [more]

Previous interviews

Interview with Robin Cohen (Oxford)

At the moment I am really interested in the issue of overcoming diversity and I've been working in and around the subject matter of creolization.  ...

Interview with Thomas Faist (Bielefeld)

For me, diversity has two dimensions. First, diversity is a description. It's a descriptive term really suggesting that there is ...

Interview with Andre Gingrich (Wien)

On a general level, I agree with Ulf Hannerz's formulation in the last issue of the 2010 American Anthropologist, where he says that ...

Interview with Thomas Hylland Eriksen (Oslo)

Well, perhaps we should start by thinking about diversity as an analytical term, and then we can move to the usage of diversity in public and ...

Interview with Ewa Morawska (Essex)

Diversity is absolutely central to my work for two reasons: the nature of my research and the theoretical framework that informs it. ...

Interview with Andreas Wimmer (Princeton)

In the area that I am working in at the moment, which mostly has to do with conflict, violence, state formation, and public goods provision, there ...

More interviews with Ash Amin (Cambridge), Arjun Appadurai (New York), Lourdes Arizpe (Mexico), Ulrich Beck (München), Mette Louise Berg (Oxford), Thomas Blom Hansen (Amsterdam), Jan Blommaert (Tilburg), Rogers Brubaker (Los Angeles), Wong Ing Boh Diana (Kuala Lumpur), John Eade (London), Nancy Foner (New York), Farida Tilbury Fozdar (Perth), Nina Glick-Schiller (Manchester), Nilüfer Göle (Paris), Ralph Grillo (Sussex), Suzanne Hall (University of London / LSE), Miles Hewstone (Oxford), Daniel Hiebert (University of British Columbia), Bela Hovy (United Nations), Michael Keith (COMPAS, University of Oxford), Peter Kivisto (Illinois), Kim Knott (Lancaster University), Matthias Koenig (Göttingen), Loren Landau (Johannesburg), Sarah Neal (University of Surrey, UK), Brendan O'Leary (Pennsylvania), Bruno Riccio (Bologna), Paul Spoonley (Palmerston North), Manuel A. Vásquez (Florida), Josh DeWind (New York), Amanda Wise (Sydney).

All social scientific research at the Institute, particularly concerning informed consent and involving visual materials, is designed to follow the ethical guidelines formulated by the American Anthropological Association
(see http://www.aaanet.org/profdev/ethics/upload/Statement-on-Ethics-Principles-of-Professional-Responsibility.pdf).
All material on the Institute’s website is protected by copyright. If you wish to use material from the website, please contact our Research Coordinator, Dr. Norbert Winnige (winnige(at)mmg.mpg.de).