The course is organised around academic inputs from scholars researching different aspects of religion. The module includes three major thematic blocks
1.Who owns theology: · Who is responsible for the production of theological knowledge · Contextual and Intercultural Theology: the transformation of the idea of religious authority.
2. Who owns academic study of religion: · “World Religions” vs. “Cults”: contemplations on the terminology and historiography of the Study of Religions. · Authority of sources: the dominance of religious texts over objects and practices. · Vernacular and folk religiosity as a focus of the academic Study of Religion and Folkloristics
3. Who owns ethics: religious rhetoric and compelling societal changes · Current socio-political debates and agency of the religious groups · Religious ethics and gender debates
The Lecturers will provide input and materials for the group discussion, which would be moderated by the alumni of the Intercultural Theology programme. The alumni will also provide inputs on the topics of their professional and academic interest, such as
- Carla Suzana Kruger (Brazil) “Theologies and the indigenous ideas of the ownership of land”
- Blessen George Babu (India) “The Sacred Lotus: Transcending the Boundaries of Heterogeneous Cultural Identities”
- Elena Romashko (Belarus) “Transformations of the vernacular religion in Belarus after Chernobyl”
- Adolph van der Walt (South Africa) “Ritual smoking in South Africa: religion, ethics and public health ”
- Xinyue Zhang (China) “Eating as Intercultural Theology”, etc.
After the programme students will be able to
- articulate and address critical issues of contemporary global religious processes and transformations.
- critically reflect on personal religious views and the role of the cultural context in them.
- capable to work effectively and respectfully across diverse theologies (incl. theologies of the Global South) and religious ethics with the representatives of other religions and denominations.
- develop communicative strategies in situations of disagreement and resolve conflicts in multicultural settings
The course will start with a 10-day intensive programme in Göttingen that will be followed by a digital part spread over 5 more weeks.
During the time in Göttingen students will be able to get to know one another and attend open lectures and engage in the small group activities and excursions.
After the physical mobility students will continue working on their digital portfolios that they start in Göttingen and engage with each other and the group leaders (Intercultural Theology alumni) through the university platform. All the participants will get access to the multimedia files and guiding questions to engage with at the self-pace format.
The course evaluation is done through a submission of the digital reflective portfolio.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Grünschloß
Prof. Dr. Alexander-Kenneth Nagel
PD Dr Fritz Heinrich
Prof. Dr. Ülo Valk
Prof. Dr. Anne Kull
Prof. Dr. Brian Palmer