The research group focuses on studies of religious ideas, values and cult practices as well as sacred spaces and monuments, i.e. the relation of monument and ritual/rite. The source material includes both classical studies and archaeological sources.

The current focal points result on the continuation of ongoing topic-specific research by the working groups of the former Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture (Religion and Society, Early Christianity, parts of the working group Living in Antiquity) as well as on the development and implementation of new key question-oriented studies on the interaction of ancient religion and society.

Due to the genesis or the weighting of the projects in terms of content, studies relevant to the history of religion are also carried out outside the research group, for example in the research group »Historical Archaeology in the Mediterranean«.