The Institute of Church History, Christian Archaeology, and Ecclesiastical Art is dedicated to researching the formation and development of Christianity over its 2000 year history. The variety of both its literary and non-literary manifestations enables a) critical and methodological analysis of its history, b) development of and interaction with theologically relevant questions and c) critical and instructive interaction with other theological disciplines.

The institute also conducts research in the fields of Christian archaeology, history of art, and epigraphy. This research facilitates cooperation with other disciplines, such as Classics or History, identifying cultural-historical frameworks in a transdisciplinary approach.

Two main research fields are especially emphasized: The History of Early Christianity (“patristics”), i.e. Christianity in its first six centuries (Prof. Dr. Uta Heil), and the History of Protestantism in Austria (Prof. Dr. Rudolf Leeb).

As part of these research fields two publications are (co-)edited:

  • The Journal for Antique Christianity (ZAC, DE Gruyter), ed. Christoph Markschies (Berlin), Hanns Christof Brennecke (Erlangen), Volker Henning Drecoll (Tübingen) and Uta Heil (Vienna), with three issues per year.

Für die Studierenden bietet das Institut regelmäßig eine einleitende Gesamtüberblicksvorlesung für die Erstsemester (StEOP) sowie weiterführende Überblicksvorlesungen über die einzelnen Epochen der Christentumsgeschichte an. Einführungen in das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten, Seminare und Übungen vermitteln methodische Grundkenntnis und vertiefen einzelne Themen.


While concerned with all of Church History, the Institute of Church History, Christian Archaeology, and Christian Art focuses its research on two fields:

  1. The formative period of the history of Christianity, up to the end of Late Antiquity in the 6th century. The focus is on the discourse of Antiquity and Christianity for understanding the related processes of the constitution of ecclesiastical life, institutions, teachings, and traditions.
  2. The early modern Reformation in Western and Middle Europe and the development of Protestant churches and their theology. A primary focus is laid on the reception history of Austrian Protestantism in the context of the Danube and Carpathian region.