In recent years, the Institute has developed four sustainable research areas in which a large number of research activities are carried out:
1. Philosophy in the Modern Middle East;
2. The Middle Eastern “saddle period”: Concepts of modernity and their formation in Arabic, Turkish and Persian;
3. Youth worlds in the (post-) revolutionary Middle East and North Africa.
4. Gender and sexuality in Islamic and Middle Eastern Law
These research areas are defined by specific projects. This includes research on the relationship between religion, social order and imperious or state power in the Islamic world in modern and contemporary times; the problem of the relationship between reason and faith, science and religion, state and religion; the history of gender and sexuality; the history of social and state power (research on empires and imperialism, contemporary processes), historiography, educational history and the sociology of knowledge, Islamic and Middle Eastern law, as well as early Islamic history in the context of traditions of late antiquity.
Regional priorities are further shaping this profile. The focus is on the countries of the Middle East (including Egypt, Syria and those of the Arabian Peninsula), Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Europe. This strategy allows us to examine the plurality of social orders and cultural traditions without reducing them solely to Islamic traditions. For example, our view also applies to secular, Christian and Jewish traditions in the context of the ancient Islamic world and, conversely, to Islamic traditions in the Western world.