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History, sociology, archaeology and anthropology of religions | HiSAAR

Propose innovative interdisciplinary approaches in research and teaching and knowledge dissemination contributing to a better understanding of the role of religions and identity dynamics in contemporary societies.


The ITI HiSAAR has the ambition to study religious facts through an innovative perspective, Religious Re-structuring: Internal Transformations and External Interactions, which involves an ambitious interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach: history, sociology, archaeology, and anthropology.

Thematics and research challenges

In terms of the contents and objectives of the training programmes related to his five research axes (see below), ITI HiSAAR aims to train specialists in the study of religious traditions so as to provide them with a solid knowledge of the literary sources, languages, historical events, and cultures in which these traditions were and are expressed.

The interdisciplinary methodological approach of this ITI, as reflected in the many affiliated Master’s courses and research activities of its principal members, is highly innovative, since, while providing a variety of methodological tools, it allows the religious facts to be analyzed in an interdisciplinary and integrated manner.

This ITI combines an in-depth understanding of the historical and cultural development of the major religions from antiquity to the present day and a direct reading of the texts, which implies a specific linguistic and philological knowledge of the founding texts as well as the doctrinal and commentarial content that subsequently became crystallized in the different traditions, not to mention the importance of archaeological research, sociology of religions and ethno-anthropological disciplines.

The five thematic axes of research and teaching excellence of ITI HiSAAR are:

  • Text, intertextuality, and tradition.
  • Identities and otherness.
  • Religions and politics.
  • Ritual practices: Acts, objects, and representations.
  • Sex, gender, and religions.

Graduate program

The specificity of this training is its interdisciplinarity that extends to the domains of philology, history, archaeology, sociology, ethnology and anthropology and integrates the study of religions. The most flexible and visible option for the programme is a training/research University Diploma (DU) “HiSAAR”, which includes the ITI's activities (seminars, summer and winter schools, masterclasses). This DU certifies the acquisition of an expert profile in the humanities and social sciences of religions.

history - philology - archaeology - sociology - ethnology - anthropology

The ITI’s training/research programme is expressly designed as a complementary or supplementary interdisciplinary specialization available to Unistra students enrolled in affiliated Master’s courses and PhD students registered in the main doctoral schools, as well as Master’s and PhD students from partner universities and research centres.

Admission criteria

  • Master: On the basis of the disciplines making up the integrated curriculum of the DU ITI HiSAAR formation (history, sociology, archaeology and anthropology of religions), all holders of a Licence in Human Sciences will be able to access it, in relation to the examination of their application.
  • PhD: Only holders of a Master and the DU ITI HiSAAR have access to doctoral and post-doctoral training.

Application process

  • Master: Masters of the University of Strasbourg affiliated with ITI HiSAAR: - Archéologie des Mondes Méditerranéens, Orientaux et Égyptiens - Architecture et Archéologie - Études japonaises - Études médiévales interdisciplinaires - Études persanes - Interreligieux et société - Mondes de l’Antiquité - Mondes musulmans - Religions, histoire et sociétés - Théologie catholique - Trinational Bilingue (Histoire, archéologie)
  • PhD: Research Units and Doctoral Schools affiliated with ITI HiSAAR

Prof. Guillaume Ducoeur
Faculty of history sciences


Contact information

Prof. Guillaume Ducoeur
Faculty of history sciences


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