Adrian Hermann
Prof. Dr. Adrian Hermann

Prof. Dr. Adrian Hermann

University of Bonn
Forum Internationale Wissenschaft
Dept. for Religion Studies
Heussallee 18–24
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 62 976

Current Position

  • Professor for Religion and Society


As explored by F. Declich and M. Rodet in their recent article "African Slavery in Documentary Films" (2020), the historical investigation of transatlantic slavery through the medium of documentary film has become an important aspect of slavery studies over the last decade. But even more generally, one could say that throughout its history the documentary film has been an important medium of the exploration and documentation of relations of asymmetric dependency. An engagement with this history and with contemporary films that continue this legacy promises important contributions to our research perspectives at the BCDSS.

Documentary films are valuable as a tool of public history, but they can also serve to convey embodied knowledge and sensory experience and thus help us investigate, as ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall has stressed, the "social aesthetics" of particular circumstances. They enable a sensory ethnography beyond the text that explores social relations in light of aisthetic hierarchies and somatic experiences. The film A Woman Captured (Egy nő fogságban, Hungary 2017, 89 min.), for example, tells the story of Marish, a woman who for ten years has worked in a Hungarian family in what the filmmaker describes as "modern day slavery". It paints a haunting portrait of the scars that a decade lived in dependency inscribes on a person’s body and face. I hope that in the next couple of years I can investigate documentary film as a valuable research instrument for dependency studies. In addition, the BCDSS could explore this aspect by screening and discussing particularly relevant films among scholars and with the wider public.


  • 2011                         Graduation as Dr. phil., University of Basel, Switzerland
  • 2006–2009             PhD student in the DFG Research Training Group "Weltgesellschaft: Zur Herstellung und Repräsentation von Globalität33" [World Society: On the Production and  Representation of Globality], University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 2002–2006             Undergraduate and graduate studies in Theater Studies, Religious Studies and North American Literature, University
                                     of Munich, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2017–present         Professor for Religion and Society, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2015–2017             Assistant Professor for Religious Studies and World Christianity, University of Hamburg, Germany
  • 2013–2014             Research Associate, University of Munich (LMU), Germany

Scholarshops and Awards

  • 2014–2015              Post-Doctoral Scholarship of the Swiss National Science Foundation, University of Utrecht and University of Stanford, USA
  • 2012–2013              Post-Doctoral Scholarship of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation
  • 2011–2012              Post-Doctoral Fellow in Religious Studies at University of Basel, Switzerland

Third-Party Funding

Selected Publications

  • with L. Dorrough Smith, S. Führding (eds.): Hijacked: A Critical Treatment of the Public Rhetoric of Good and Bad Religion. Sheffield 2020.
  • Global Religious Organizations. In: M. Middell (ed.): The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies. London 2019, 464–474.
  • A Call for a Permissible Plurality Within Theory-Building in a Time of Excess. In: Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 30 (4) 2018, 487–497.
  • with K. Koschorke: Beyond Their Own Dwellings: Die Entstehung einer transregionalen und transkontinentalen indigen-christlichen Öffentlichkeit. In: K. Koschorke, A. Hermann et al. (eds.): To Give publicity to Our Thoughts: Journale asiatischer und afrikanischer Christen um 1900 und die Entstehung einer transregionalen indigen-christlichen Öffentlichkeit. Wiesbaden 2018, 227–260.
  • with K. Koschorke et al. (eds.): To Give Publicity to Our Thoughts: Journale asiatischer und afrikanischer Christen um 1900 und die Entstehung einer transregionalen indigen-christlichen Öffentlichkeit. Wiesbaden 2018.
  • Distinctions of Religion: The Search for Equivalents of "Religion" and the Challenge of Theorizing a "Global Discourse of Religion". In: F. Wijsen, K. von Stuckrad (eds.): Making Religion: Theory and Practice in the Discursive Study of Religion. Leiden 2016, 97–124.
  • Unterscheidungen der Religion: Analysen zum globalen Religionsdiskurs und zum Problem der Differenzierung von "Religion" in buddhistischen Kontexten des 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts. Göttingen 2015.
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