13. June 2022

Launch of the Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung Launch of the Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung

Official opening of the interdisciplinary center of the University of Bonn on June 22

Covid-19, climate change, populism, and not least the Ukraine war make the question of how and whether reconciliation is possible highly topical and relevant. The new Bonner Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung (Center for Reconciliation Research) at the University of Bonn bundles research on this topic in cooperation with partner organizations. The center’s aim is to analyze reconciliation practices in an interdisciplinary and comparative way looking at different cultural, social and regional contexts. The official opening will take place on June 22 at 6:30 pm in the Festsaal of the University of Bonn. The opening lecture will be given by Prof. Dr. Moshe Zimmermann from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Journalists are invited to attend the event. Registration is requested at vforum@unibonn.de.

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At the new Bonner Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung (BVZ), scholars are working on the outstanding social significance of reconciliation. They come from a wide range of disciplines, since the comprehensive analysis of reconciliation processes takes many different approaches into account - including sociological, cultural anthropological, historical, theological, philological, philosophical, as well as literary, media, legal and political science. The center is organizationally anchored in the Faculty of Philosophy.

Sociologist Sen.-Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Soeffner was elected spokesperson of the center. "Not only the interdisciplinary and international composition, but also the empirical-theoretical approach of the center to reconciliation research are unique in Germany," he says.

"In addition, we are planning collaborations with local partners in Bonn to host events. After all, the center should have an additional impact beyond the University into society and politics," says Managing Director Esther Gardei. These local cooperation partners include the Evangelisches Forum Bonn, the Katholisches Bildungswerk Bonn and the Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit in Bonn.

Network and profile building

The BZV contributes significantly to the profile building of the University of Bonn and thus connects with the University's cross-faculty Transdisciplinary Research Areas "Individuals and Societies" and "Present Pasts", with which it closely cooperates. Currently, four faculties are involved - the Faculties of Philosophy, Protestant Theology, Catholic Theology, and Law and Political Science - as well as the Cluster of Excellence Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies and the Centre for Historical Peace Studies at the University of Bonn.

The German Development Institute (DIE), the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC) and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (KWI) are also involved.

The cooperation between university and non-university institutions is intended to ensure that the center's research also flows into policy advice at national and international levels.

International cooperation partners include the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) centers in Israel and Japan and the Democracia y Derechos Humanos Research Institute at the PUCP of the University of Lima.

Logo of the new center
Logo of the new center © BZV/ Uni Bonn

Esther Gardei
Managing Director
Bonner Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung
University of Bonn
Phone: +49(0)1775257515
Email: vforum@uni-bonn.de

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