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Professor Heidemarie Winkel

Professor Heidemarie Winkel

Senior Research Associate

Professor of Sociology, University of Bielefeld


Heidemarie Winkel was educated in sociology and economics at the University of Trier (Germany); she completed her Habilitation (professoral thesis) at the University of Potsdam (2010). Winkel worked as a research fellow in sociological theory at the Technical University of Berlin and at the University of Mainz; she continued as assistant professor with a strong research interest in the intersection of gender and religion as well as in the sociology of Arab societies at the Universities of Erfurt (2002-2005; 2007-2009) and Potsdam (2009-2011). From 2005-2007 Winkel lived in Jerusalem, affiliated with the Hebrew University and the Birzeit University in Ramallah; she completed a research project on the shifting of (religiously based) gender relations in selected Arab countries taking women’s involvement in the worldwide ecumene as empirical anchor (funded by the German Research Foundation). From 2013-2014 Winkel substituted for the professorship of macro sociology at the Technical University of Dresden; since July 2015 she is professor at the University of Bielefeld. Currently, Winkel is a board member of the Sociology of Religion Research Section of the German Sociological Association and of the Research Network Sociology of Religion in the European Sociological Association (ESA). She is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal for Religion, Society and Politics and a member of the advisory board of GENDER. Journal for Gender, Culture and Society.

Research Interests

  • Multiple/Entangled Modernities and Postcolonial Sociology, with a special interest in Arab societies
  • Sociology of Religion & Gender Sociology
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Sociology of Knowledge, Culture & Intercultural Communication: Cultures of Understanding and Understanding Culture

Key Publications

  • Multiple Religiosities, Entangled Modernities and Gender: what is different about gender across religious cultures? In: Journal for Religion, Society and Politics Vol. 1 (1), 2017, pp. 89-109.
  • Negotiating Gender Relations - Arab Women and the Transformations of Arab Societies. Special Issue of GENDER. Journal for Gender, Culture and Society, ed. together with Viola Raheb, Ulrike Bechmann and Sabine Schäfer. 2017.
  • Culture, Gender, and Traditional Authority: A Sociological Approach on Power Relations in Middle Eastern Churches, in: About Gender. International Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 5 (10), 2016, pp. 145-165.
  • Religion und globale Modernen. Jenseits funktionaler Differenzierung und eines methodologischen Säkularismus, in: Zeitschrift für Theoretische Soziologie, Vol. 5 (2), 2016, pp. 282-295.
  • Identität, Geschlecht und Mission im Nahen Osten, in: Individualisierung durch christliche Mission? ed. by M.Fuchs, W.Reinhard, A. Fuchs-Linkenbach. Studien zur außereuropäischen Christentumsgeschichte (Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika).Wiesbaden, pp. 305-326.
  • Religion in Times of Crisis. Religion and the Social Order Book Series 24. Leiden, 2014, ed. together with G. Ganiel and C. Monnot.
  • Mobilizing Gender around the Globe. The ecumenical movement as a resource for gender equity in Arab Christianity, in: Religion on the Move! New Dynamics of Religious Expansion in a Globalizing World, ed. by A.Adogame, S.Shankar, Leiden, 2013, pp. 225-242.
  • Gender Knowledge in the Arab-Islamic Realm. On the social situatedness of gender as an epistemic category, in: Gendered Ways of Knowing in Science: scope and limitations, ed. by S. Knauss, T. Wobbe, G. Covi; Trento, 2012, pp. 155-176.
  • The Social Dynamics of Religion in the Public Domain. Special Issue of European Societies, ed. together with G. Ganiel, 2017, in print.
  • Religion and Gender, in: Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, ed. by Detlef Pollack et al., in print.
  • Religion soziologisch denken / Thinking Religion Sociologically. Reflexionen auf aktuelle Entwicklungen in Theorie und Empirie, ed. together with K. Sammet, Wiesbaden, 2017.
  • Religionssoziologie jenseits des methodologischen Säkularismus‘ / Sociology of Religion Beyond Methodological Secularism: Multiple religiosities, entangled modernities und religiöse Wissensproduktion am Beispiel arabischer Reformideen, in: Religion soziologisch denken. ed. together with K. Sammet, Wiesbaden, 2017, pp. 69-99.

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