The concept of disorder, like that of order, seems very intuitive at first glance. Yet it is not as simple as it seems. The contributions in this volume reveal based on very different cases how phenomena of disorder were conceived, described or even created, what terms were used in this context and, last but not least, what potential they have. They show the fluid, perspective-dependent border areas between order and disorder, but also how disorder could be represented in an ordered manner. They refer to the threatening potential of a loss of order, which can still be fertile ground for political resentment. They demonstrate the ways in which scenarios of disorder can be taken up literarily, theologically or politically, and the intellectual efforts that were made to create order against such a background. They illustrate the ways in which science as an institutionalised attempt at order can make a significant contribution to disorder, which it must then eliminate, but also shed light on the innovative and at the same time order-creating potential of disorder scenarios. In this way, all the studies gathered here contribute first to prepare a ground that will eventually serve as a basis for further work on disorder phenomena.
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