Foundation and early years

Foundation and early years

The ifz’s primary and actual function has always been to work towards a holistic scientific demonstration of reality. This aim – a contribution towards a genuine universitas scientiarum in modern times – was to be prepared and attained through the research of individual institutes using dialogical methods.

Dr. Andreas Rohracher the Archbishop of Salzburg at the time, opened the “International Research Centre for Fundamental Scientific Questions” in 1961. The canonical construction took place in 1964 in the name of the Austrian Bishops conference (original statute, 19th April 1964), and the approval from the Federal Government´s Education Department took place three years later in 1964.

Seven Institutes from 1961 to 1971

  • Institute for the Philosophy of Science with two departments, Natural Science and the Humanities led by Univ.- Prof. Dr. P. Beda Thum OSB
  • Institute for General History led by the Hon.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Alexander von Randa
  • Institute for Political Science led by Univ.- Prof. Dr. P Franz Schmölz OP
  • Institute for Religious Studies and Ancient Christianity led by Univ.-Prof. Dr. P. Thomas Michels OSB
  • Institute for Contemporary Church History led by Univ.-Don DDr. Norbert Miko (till 1963) and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erika Weinzierl.
  • Institute for Comparative Educational Science led by Univ.-Prof Dr. Leopold Prohaska
  • Eastern Institue with two departments; one department for eastern Christianity led by Univ.-Prof. DDr. P Ludger Bernhard OSB, and another department for the non-christian Orient led by the institutes´s director Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ernst Florian Winter.

The Limitation to Four Institutes in Three Subject Areas in 1970

As a consequence of the experiences from the institute’s early years, the ifz’s institutional reorganization was decided in 1970. From that point on, the ifz was limited to four institutes that were organized into three subject areas:

  • A Philosophical-Science Theory Department
  • A Religious Studies Theory Department
  • A Social-Political Contemporary Department