FOR 2539 „Resilience. Phases of Societal Upheaval in Dialogue Between Medieval Studies and Sociology

The Research Group investigates how social groups and actors react to drastic social upheavals and challenges that threaten their existence. The concept of resilience originates from the natural and environmental sciences and investigates the coping, adaptation and transformation potential of today’s societies. The aim of the six-year research program is to clarify the extent to which the concept is suitable for the study of historical situations of upheaval in the humanities and social sciences.


In the first funding period (1 July 2016 – 30 June 2019), six projects from the fields of sociology and medieval studies, represented by the subjects Older German Philology, History of Law and Medieval History, are participating in the research work:

  • Project 1 “Ashkenazi Jews in the later Middle Ages: Responses to Persecution, Discrimination, and Expulsion”
  • Project 2 „Resilience in Southern Italy under the early Anjou Regime (1266–1309)“
  • Project 3 “Theory of Resilience”
  • Project 4 “Urban Culture and Resilience: The Shrovetide Play on Nuremberg’s stages before and after the Reformation”
  • Project 5 “Reception of Law and Resilience. The Law of Credit in the Ius Commune”
  • Project 6 “A resilient City: The Republic of Venice in the 15th century”


In the second funding period (1 November 2019 – 30 October 2022), six projects from different disciplines will also be working on research on issues related to resilience:

  • Project 1 “Ashkenazi Jewry in the later Middle Ages. Potentials of Regional Networks towards Coping, Adaptation, and Transformation”
  • Project 2 “Resilience in Southern Italy under the Early Angevin Rulers (1266–1309)”
  • Project 3 “Theory of Resilience”
  • Project 4 “Resilience Processes in the Face of Disruptive Phenomena. On the Societal Perception of Security Policies and Terrorist Threats”
  • Project 5 “Legal Transplants and Resilience. Lay Courts in 15th and 16th Century Germany”
  • Project 6 “Criminal justice in Western Territories of the Old Reich (15th–17th c.). Resilience Processes and the persecution of witchcraft and fornication”