Born on April 28th, 1966, in Cologne (Germany).
1986-1991: Studies of the History of Religions, Philosophy, Educational Science and for some time also Catholic Theology at the Universities of Bonn, Tübingen, Bergen, and Rome („La Sapienza“). Several scholarships, among others by Cusanuswerk (1988-1991). M.A. 1991.
1992-1995: Ph-D scholarship at the Graduate School for Intercultural Religious Studies at the University of Bonn. Dr. phil. 1995.
1996-2000: Feodor-Lynen-Research-Fellow at the University of Uppsala. Cosponsors: Wenner-Gren-Foundation (1997) and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (1998-1999). 1996: Lecturer at the Faculty of Theology. Docent 2000.
2000-2004: Head of Independent Junior Research Group (Emmy Noether-Group) at the University of Heidelberg. Privatdozent 2003.
2001 (summer term): Substitute full professor at the University of Tübingen.
2002/2003 (winter term): Substitute full professor at the University of Bern.
2004-: Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Bergen. (2005-2007 Head of Department; 2007-2010 Director of Program in Religion; 2011- Director of Studies)
German nationality, married, three children.
- Religion (member of the editorial board [2006–]; European editor [2008–] with Steven Engler / Mont Royal University, Canada).
- Religion and Reason: Theory in the Study of Religion (co-editor [2009–] with Gustavo Benavides / Villanova University, Philadelphia, USA)
- Critical Studies in Religion / Religionswissenschaft (founding co-editor with Gregor Ahn / Universität Heidelberg, Germany; Oliver Freiberger / University of Texas at Austin, USA; Jürgen Mohn / Universität Basel, Switzerland)
- Deutsche Vereinigung für Religionswissenschaft
- Norwegian Association for the History of Religions
- Swedish Society of Humboldt-Fellows (Secretary 1996-2002)
- American Academy of Religion
- European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism ([ESSWE], founding member and member of the board [2005-2009])
- Scandinavian Society for Iranian Studies (executive committee / advisory board member
- Elected ordinary member, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2012)