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Against common assumptions, the Islamic State (IS) has managed to survive the loss of some influential leaders and its temporarily held territory in Iraq and Syria. Because of its nature as a non-governmental armed force active in Iraq to this day, it is of pivotal importance for the security and stability of Iraq to understand its structures, tactics and strategies. Traditional research on the IS has focused on two aspects: the danger of the group’s propaganda and how it should be fought militarily. What is oftentimes left out, however, is the question of how the group itself fights and how it is organized. With reference to Omar Ashour’s book “How ISIS fights” (2021) and data revealed in internal IS documents, this chapter gives insight into the IS military repertoire with the aim of understanding the group as the highly strategic and well-organized non-governmental armed force that it is.

In: Agents of Violence


This introductory article gives an account of the importance of research into interreligious dialogue for the research centre „Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society“ (RaT) at the University of Vienna. On the one hand, the article names concrete projects from this research field that have been carried out in recent years. On the other hand, it explains that research on religion that considers social transformation processes must per se have an interreligious orientation if it wants to do justice to the societal realities of religious pluralism. Furthermore, research into interreligious-dialogical constellations must be part of the university utopia of making society conscious of itself (Klaus Heinrich).

In: Interreligiöser Dialog


Modern sciences and Islam are oftentimes perceived (or presented) as irreconcilable or even as mutually exclusive poles. In attempting to re-establish the dialogue on the topic and to find contemporary approaches that might enable one to keep personal religious beliefs while also engaging with modern sciences, this article discusses the works of contemporary physicist Nidhal Guessoum. Guessoum not only critically examines current developments in the realm of science in the Muslim world, but also provides the reader with a solution to what seems to be a problem of colliding epistemologies: reconciling the two traditions. According to Guessoum, both traditions – although using different methods – work towards advancing knowledge and should thus both be upheld and progressed. To illustrate his approach to scientific methodology and thinking, the article also provides an analysis of Guessoum’s videos on COVID-19 and thereby addresses a current topic which clearly proves the need for reliable modern science.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Wissenschaftliche Zugänge zur Begegnung der abrahamitischen Religionen
Der interreligiöse Dialog kann in weltanschaulich pluralen Gesellschaften wesentlich zu einem friedlichen Zusammenleben beitragen. Dabei steht vor allem der trilaterale Dialog zwischen Jüd*innen, Christ*innen und Muslim*innen im Zentrum der Aufmerksamkeit. Freilich verbinden sich mit diesem Dialog höchst heterogene Verständnisse, Interessen und Ziele. Religiöse Menschen verbinden mit dem interreligiösen Dialog andere Vorstellungen als gesellschaftliche oder politische Akteure. In diesem Band widmen sich international renommierte Wissenschaftler*innen dem interreligiösen Dialog aus inter- und transdisziplinärer – d.h. theologischer, historischer, religions-, sozial- und bildungswissenschaftlicher sowie praktischer – Perspektive und loten die Komplexität des Phänomens, die mit ihm verbundenen Probleme, wie z.B. Antisemitismus und Islamfeindlichkeit, sowie dessen Möglichkeiten und Grenzen aus.