Matthias Riedl


Contact information

Budapest, Nador u. 11
+36 1 327 3022

Research: Since my student years I have been fascinated by the interrelation between religion and politics. Most of my published work has been on religious and political thought in Latin Christianity, ranging from antiquity to reformation period. However, I also wrote articles and essays on most recent developments in theology and political philosophy. My current research is on the emergence of revolutionary apocalypticsm in the Later Middle Ages and Early Modernity. I’m working on a monograph on the German radical reformer Thomas Müntzer.  The main objective is to explore how apocalyptic and mystical thinking may serve as inspiration and justification for violent action. More details about my research and publications are available at

Teaching: In the many courses I taught at CEU I tried to expand the scope beyond my research areas and to establish comparative perspectives on other intellectual and religious environments. Accordingly, I often co-teach with colleagues who work on different periods, regions, and religions. Additionally I directed several international summer schools for postgraduate students from all around the world.

Supervision: I have supervised numerous theses mostly in the fields of church history and the history of religious and political thought. They range from Early Christianity to church-state-relations in the 20th century. Current and prospective students who wish to work with me are invited to contact me.

Fields of Interest

  • Early Modern Period
  • Intellectual History
  • Political Thought
  • Comparative Religious Studies
  • Church History
  • History of Theology
  • Religious Dissent
  • Reformation Studies
  • Religion and Politics
  • Religious Violence

Doctoral Supervision

  • Honor in Harmony. Social Unity Based on Ethical Virtue in Renaissance Poland-Lithuania / Povilas Dikavicius (current)
  • Christianity, Socialism and Theo-political Visions in Late Imperial Russia / Alexandra Medzibrodszky (current)
  • Changing discourses of Violence in the Hussite Movement (early 15th c.) / Martin Pjecha (current)
  • Confessional Policies of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky in the Late Habsburg Empire and its Aftermath, 1908-1923 / Yuriy Koshulap (current) -- co-supervision with Ostap Sereda
  • The archangel's consecrated servants: an inquiry in the relationship between the Romanian Orthodox church and the Iron Guard (1930-1941) / Ionut Florin Biliuta (2014)

MA Supervision (selected titles)

  • Pompa Funebris: Funeral Rituals and Civic Community in Seventh Century Vilnius / Povilas Dikavicius (2016)
  • Waldensian Doctrinal Developments in 14th Century Austria and Italy / Thomas Edward Bensing (2015)
  • The Way to Convert the Eastern Church: Confessional, Missionarys and Educational Agendas of the Eastern Rite Redemptorist Fathers (1913-1939) / Olha Pushchak (2013)
  • The Children of the Planets: Freedom, Necessity, and the Impact of the Stars – The Iconographic Dimensions of a Pan-European Discourse / Breanne Herrera (2012)
  • Protestantism and Protest: The Lutheran and Reformed Churches in Rural East Germany / Roy Albert Kimmey III (2012)
  • From Protecting God’s Law to Spreading Faith and Vengeance: Human Agency and the Shift towards Offensive Warfare in the Hussite Discourse / Martin Pjecha (2012)
  • Conversions to Christianity and the meaning of suffering – the cases of Simone Weil and Nicolae Steinhard / Darie Dragoi (2010)
  • The Problem of Evil in Early Modern Romanian Literature. Antim Ivireanul, Miron Costin and Ion Neculce / Alin Marius Vara (2009)
  • Towards a Reconciliation of the Carnivalesque with Bakhtin’s Christian Weltanschauung / Irina Mickhaylovna Denischenko (2008)
  • Cross on the Trident: The Religious Patriotism of the Monastic Order of St Basil the Great in the Context of Nation Building in Ukraine, 1897-1914
  • Mark Antun de Dominis: A Prodigal Son
  • Ecumenicism and the Cold War

Previous Academic Experience

  • Lecturer in Political Science, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (1999-2006).
  • Co-organizer of the interdisciplinary and intercivilizational Eranos Conferences in Ascona/Switzerland (2001-2006).
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Duke University, Durham, NC (2003).
  • Research Fellow at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities "Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies of Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe" at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. (2012)
  • Professeur invité at the Department of Philosophy, Jean Moulin Unversity of Lyon 3 (2014)
  • Director of the International Summer University Course Religion and Politics: The Presence of Sacred and Secular Traditions in Europe and the Middle East. CEU, Budapest, July 2008.
  • Director (with Michael L. Miller) of the International Summer University Course Messianism – Jewish and Christian Perspectives,  (in cooperation with Duke University, North Carolina). CEU Budapest, July 2010.
  • Director (with Hans-Jörg Sigwart) of the International Summer University Course Religion and Realism in Political Thought- Historical Perspectives and Recent Developments. CEU Budapest, July 2013.
  • Director (with Brett Wilson) of the International Summer University Course Religious Violence in Global PerspectiveCEU Budapest, July 2015.

Courses taught in the previous years

  • Reason and Revelation - lecture (together with Aziz Al-Azmeh)
  • Reason and Revelation - seminar (together with Aziz Al-Azmeh)
  • Religion and Political Thought: Europe 1200-1700 (lecture)
  • Religion and Political Thought: Europe 1200-1700 (source reading seminar)


M.A. University Erlangen-Nuremberg, 1998
Ph.D. University Erlangen-Nuremberg (summa cum laude), 2003

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