This paper develops a concept of 2-categorical algebraic quantum field theories (2AQFTs) that assign locally presentable linear categories to spacetimes. It is proven that ordinary AQFTs embed as a coreflective full 2-subcategory into the 2-category of 2AQFTs. Examples of 2AQFTs that do not come from ordinary AQFTs via this embedding are constructed by a local gauging construction for finite groups, which admits a physical interpretation in terms of orbifold theories. A categorification of Fredenhagen’s universal algebra is developed and also computed for simple examples of 2AQFTs.
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