About the Project
Philanthropy, endowments, giving and collecting play a central role in social cohesion, in orientation to the common good and the preservation of cultural heritage. The common good and cultural heritage must not be equated with social integration, but should also be viewed in terms of tension and conflict, and not only in the Western European context of our time. However, corresponding theoretical models are almost exclusively oriented to this context.
Through interdisciplinary cooperation of the three humanities faculties at Heidelberg University – the Faculties of Modern Languages and Literature, Philosophy and Theology – together with the Faculties of Law, of Behavioural and Cultural Studies, and of Economics and Social Sciences, the project aims to develop the foundations for a diachronically and cross-culturally sustainable theory of philanthropy by combining social science modelling with perspectives from outside Western Europe from the fields of antiquity, regional studies, and religious studies.
Based on this preliminary work, a larger research cluster is to be prepared for further elaboration and empirical foundation with the participation of further disciplines. The Centre for Social Investment (CSI) forms the social science component of the network and joins forces with cultural studies expertise from Egyptology, Islamic Studies, and Theology to pave the exploratory way for the first three years of the project.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science as part of the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments.