Based on my long-standing experience with supervising scientific theses (diploma theses, master theses, dissertations), I am gladly available as a supervisor to interested students. When starting to write a paper, the most important points to consider are the clear identification of a theme (usually this needs to be narrowed down) and the formulation of a precise research question. In the supervision process itself, I offer appointments where supervised students can discuss their work. Apart from that, I read concepts, drafts, individual chapters or complete files, including in electronic form, and provide them with my comments.

Some tips on identifying a theme

When selecting a theme, students should ask themselves the following questions: 

  • Why did I choose this research area?
  • Why do I want to work on this especially in the context of an academic thesis?
  • What has stimulated me in the course of my studies to work on this topic?
  • What is my precise research question in this area and what is new about it?
  • Is it possible to cope with the conceived range of the theme within a reasonable time period? 
  • What am I qualifying for by writing this thesis apart from the simple fact that I will complete my studies (or how will my qualification profile change by writing this thesis)? 
  • What is my personal interest in this subject matter and to what extent can it be obstructive or conducive? 
  • What are the presuppositions I bring along and how can I examine them? 
  • What methods do I want to apply and how far are they adequate for the object of research, or to what extent do I already master them? 
  • What is the key literature on the subject matter? How can I get an idea of the relevant literature?

Subject areas for possible supervision

In principle, I supervise papers in areas that are covered by my research and teaching activity. Alongside papers in German, I can also supervise papers in English and French language.

African religions

The African continent has given rise to a range of diverse cultures that are either classified according to large linguistic families or according to geographical location. In addition to the so-called "traditional" religions that originated on the continent (and which are subject to constant change as all religious traditions are), we find in this vast cultural sphere various forms of Christianity and Islam as well as new religious movements that emerged by means of cultural contact. Primarily African forms of Christianity have spread to so-called ”Western“ countries through migration movements. The study of the religious plurality of contemporary sub-Saharan Africa and its history is an important matter of concern to me.

Afro-American religions

Religions that developed as a result of the transatlantic slave trade among the descendants of the African slaves: in Latin America, those religions where an African cultural matrix was influenced inter alia by Catholic and spiritistic elements; in colonial North America and in the pre-Civil War United States, primarily specific forms of Christianity; and in today’s USA, for instance, apart from Christian denominations characterized by "African" spirituality, religious political movements that advocate a millenarian worldview or a "Back-to-Africa" objective (i.e. the Nation of Islam, the Black Hebrews or the Rastafaris which originated in Jamaica). Nowadays, Latin American religions of African influence that transformed or adapted African religious traditions under the conditions of slavery are spread wide beyond their area of origin (above all Cuba, Haiti and Brazil). A broad research field that is fertile for questions regarding cultural transformation processes and the influence of these traditions on other cultural areas (such as Blues, Jazz, Samba, Hip Hop, Zombie movies, literature, etc.).


A broad field. Here I am especially interested in research on new, contemporary forms of Christianity (smaller religious communities that are often depreciated as "sects" by mainstream churches). Case studies (by using qualitative research methods), but also research on historical themes (here again preferably on the "haeretici").


A religion that originated in the USA. The typology of religions is not sure whether Mormonism is to be subsumed under "Christianity" or "new religious movements" (see below). The largest (with its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah) of those churches that trace back to Joseph Smith is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The large number of literature on this church stems from within, in part more or less critically from without, and in part critically from within. An abundance of possible research questions, I am especially interested in the themes conversion, mission, Mormon dissenters, the history of the church in Austria, but also open for other historical themes and qualitative social research related to this field.

New religious movements

Actually a strange term. At some point, every religion was "new" and not more than a "movement," such as the "Judean People's Front" (not to be confused with the People's Front of Judea). An insult (aka "sect"), before the European continent so nicely divided up by confession became acquainted with religious diversification. In any case, I am very interested in studies on the religious groups so titled in the relevant literature that are carried out by using historical or qualitative methods. If you find it difficult to take serious these groups as they appear "bizarre" in your first impression, or if you want to prove that these groups are harmful to the common good, then you are knocking at the wrong door here.

Religions of indigenous peoples

Again such a strange term. The "indigenous" is nothing other than the native, but somehow it sounds more academic. The term applies to religions that belong to a people. That would, for instance, also include the Greek or the Roman religion. However, in many cases it is not possible to speak about "one" religion, but one has to take into account an agglomeration of various cults (or so). Keywords (selection): Shamanism, Indians, Aborigines, drums and trance.

Aesthetics of religion

A field of research that was invented by Hubert Cancik and Hubert Mohr. Religion as a system of symbols that contributes to the cultural formation of the human body, but also very simply the material dimension of religion. Open for hip/sexy research questions such as religion in/and movies, the movie as religion, religion in arts, literature, comics and media.


By this I mean football played with the feet, not the hands. All themes that somehow ask the question regarding the religious significance of areas of our everyday culture – classically: is football a religion? In other words, all themes that are concerned with the definition of religion and/or the application of the notion of religion as a category for areas that would not be denoted as religious according to one’s natural preunderstanding.

Comparative Religion

Categories that are applied in comparing religions. In accordance with my teaching and research activities, I am open for empirical and historical research projects on myth, ritual and sacrifice, in particular on the theory of these notions, but also for comparative in-depth studies (e.g. "eating as a ritual").