Matthias Riedl


Contact information

Vienna, Quellenstrasse 51
+43 1 25230 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. But 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. 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. I also have a strong interest in Asian religious and political thought. Current and prospective students who wish to work with me are invited to contact me at

Fields of Interest

  • Early Modern Period
  • Late Antiquity and Middle Ages
  • Intellectual History
  • Comparative Political Thought
  • Non-Western Political Thought
  • Anarchism in Global Perspective
  • Comparative Religious Studies
  • Church History/History of Christianity
  • History of Theology
  • Religious Dissent
  • Reformation Studies
  • Religion and Politics
  • Religious Violence
  • Revolution

Doctoral Supervision

  • From Accommodation to a ‘Science of Religion’: Jesuit encounters in 19th century Bengal / Rohan Basu (current)
  • The Classical Tradition and Shaping Myths of Origins in Early Modern East-Central Europe / Oleksii Rudenko (current)
  • Honor in Harmony. Social Unity Based on Ethical Virtue in Renaissance Poland-Lithuania / Povilas Dikavicius (2022)
  • Changing discourses of Violence in the Hussite Movement (early 15th c.) / Martin Pjecha (2022)
  • Orthodox Political Theologies: Clergy, Intelligentsia and Social Christianity in Revolutionary Russia / Alexandra Medzibrodszky (2020)
  • 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)

  • The Origin and the Nature of Political Buddhism in Burma (1906-1930) / Thurein Naing (2023)

  • Joining and Leaving the International Ecumenical Movement – A Story of the Georgian Orthodox Church / Nana Saralishvili (2023)

  • Territoriality and the Transformation of Sovereignty. An Analysis of British Treaty Ports in China / Ken Beckers (2023)
  • Contesting Colonial Consecrations: A Study of Canon Law, Apostolic Succession and Episcopal Consecration in Nineteenth-Century Colonial India / Johan Muzhangody (2022)
  • Reconsidering the Rhetoric of Ottoman Gaza and the Discourse of European Antemurale in the Late Fifteenth Century: Legitimacy, Myths, and Imperial Ideologies / Burak Yazici (2021)
  • Tolstoyan Critique of Socialism and the Soviet State in 1917-1920 / Yevgeniy Davydov (2020)
  • Witnessing Torture: Two Turkish Novels in the Aftermath of the 1971 Coup d'État / Handan Demir (2020)
  • Eschatology and community in the radical reformation : the political thought of Hans Hut and Hans Hergot / Mohammad Moradi (2018)
  • Religious History in an Atheist State: Teaching the Reformation in the German Democratic Republic / Henry Blood (2018)
  • Ecce distentio est uita mea: St. Augustine's Philosophy of Time in and beyond Confessions XI / Rachel Sanderoff (2017)
  • Rebellious Heretics and Faithful Martyrs: Media Polemics and the Symbolic Language of the ‘Bohemian Question’ Throughout the Thirty Years’ War / James Gresock (2017)
  • The Art of Insults in the Renaissance and the Ultimate Exemplar of Stupidity / Tomaž Potočnik (2017)
  • Pompa Funebris: Funeral Rituals and Civic Community in Seventh Century Vilnius / Povilas Dikavicius (2016)
  • Confessionalization from Below: The Dormition Confraternity at the Forefron of Orthodox Confession Building in Early Modern Lviv / Bogdan Pavlish (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 / Koshulap Yuriy
  • Mark Antun de Dominis: A Portrait of a Penitent / Anna Silovic
  • Ecumenicism and the Cold War / Tess Culp

Other Academic Employments

  • 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)
  • Visiting Lecturer at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (2017, 2018, 2019)
  • 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

  • Discourses of Order I: Introduction to Premodern Political Thought
  • Discourses of Order II: Introduction to Modern Political Thought
  • Workshop on 20th Century Political Philosophy
  • Intensive Reading Seminar: Machiavelli's "Discourses"
  • Intensive Reading Seminar: Augustine's "The City of God"
  • 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)
  • Religious Dissent and Revolt - Comparative Perspectives on Europe in the 12th to 17th centuries


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

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