Wolfram REISS

Associated Researcher (2007–2024)
Professor (ETF)







Wolfram Reiss is an Associated Reseacher at the Department of Religious Studies (2007–2024). He is Professor of Religious Studies at the Department of Systematic Theology and Religious Studies of the Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Vienna. He studied Protestant Theology, Jewish Studies, and Islamic/Semitic Studies at the universities of Kiel, Jerusalem, Berlin, and Heidelberg. After his graduation exams in theology (first 1986, second 1988), he conducted fieldwork research (1988–1989) on the situation of Christians in Egypt. In 1989, he was ordained pastor in the Protestant Church of Hessia and Nassau. He worked in a diaconal institution in Darmstadt and took part in a one-year course in psychological counselling. From 1990 to 1996, he served as executive secretary of the Centre for Orthodox Students of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) in Erlangen. In 1996, he obtained his doctorate in Protestant Theology from the University of Heidelberg with a dissertation on the "Renewal in the Coptic Orthodox Church." Between 1996 and 2001, he served as pastor of a Lutheran congregation and was a teacher of religious education in Langen (near Frankfurt am Main). From 2001 to 2004, he was a research fellow in the University of Rostock-based project "The representation of Christianity in textbooks within Islamic countries," completing his habilitation in 2005 with a study on The Representation of Christianity in Egyptian Textbooks. Subsequently, he became a Privatdozent in the History of Religions–Religion and Society at the University of Rostock. From 2005 to 2007 he served as prison chaplain in a high security prison in Diez. In 2007, he was appointed professor of Religious Studies at the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Protestant Theology, having previously taught at the universities of Rostock, Marburg, and Hannover. During his tenure in Vienna, he has been a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and the University of Copenhagen. His research interests include Islam, oriental churches, and other religions of the Middle East. His specialties comprise international textbook research in the Middle East, the Coptic Church and Islamic movements in Egypt, contemporary changes and transformations in the Islamic Word, the situation of minorities in the Middle East, and the challenges for the state and religious communities in Europe in the face of immigration. Professor Reiss is an exponent of the development of an 'application-oriented' approach in the field of Religious Studies. He closely collaborates with his colleagues from the Department of Religious Studies, offering various courses related to Islam and religions in the Middle East to the curricula of the Department of Religious Studies.