Goals

With DialoguePerspectives we enter into dialogue with future European leaders and decision-makers of different philosophical and religious orientations and impressions as well as with renowned scientists and discourse-defining experts on one of the most important topics of our time: the role of religions and world views for the individual and society.

Fundamental Goals

  1. To generate and promote inter-religious/worldview relationships between future European decision-makers of diverse religious and worldview backgrounds.
  2. To communicate and establish practical, outcome-oriented, pluralistic approaches to and formats for dialogue in the public discourse and in academia.
  3. To create a European, globally-acting, stable network of future decision-makers that is active in shaping the current discourse on the intersections between religions/worldviews and societal responsibility.

Religions and Worldviews at the Center of Societal Political Relevance

Questions about the individual and societal meanings of religions and worldviews in Europe are currently being asked in connection with everyday and socio-politically central topics: migration, asylum, flight and integration, the question of collective identity and societal values, but also of privileges, rights and responsibility of different social groups. While a growing share of society is characterized by increasing secularization and the number of those without a religious orientation makes up nearly one third of the population, there is also an increasing religious pluralization of our society. At the same time, right-wing and right-wing populist parties are gaining considerable political influence in Europe – not least in its political and social discourses. These are characterized above all by debates on the question of the relationship between state and religious communities, the position of religious minorities, religious radicalization and allegedly religiously-motivated violence, anti-Semitism and (anti-Muslim) racism – to name but a few key words.

Reflecting on Political and Societal Frameworks– Actively Shaping Discourses – Sustainably Impacting Society

The central concerns of the program are to take seriously the opportunities and challenges associated with these political and social conditions in European societies, to reflect upon them, and to actively take a position in the discourses that accompany them. With the help of our own methodology, the results of the joint work achieved with our scholarship holders should have a lasting impact on society.

Space for Encounters, Exchange, and Joint Work

By establishing a new format of interreligious-worldview dialogue, DialoguePerspectives creates a space for encounters, exchange, and joint work between European students shape by various religious orientations and worldviews, representing a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.

Foundational Questions for our Joint Work

How can we enter into dialogue with one another? How do we wish to position ourselves within various discourses? Which innovative forms of speaking about questions of religion and worldview can we develop together? How can we address conflicting personal lifestyles and life choices while also developing shared positions?

Foundational Conceptual Assumptions

  • Religions fundamentally shape the lives and actions of individuals and society. DialoguePerspectives works on a foundational assumption of religious pluralism. All dialogue partners are entitled to equal participation in an inclusive, contemporary, and thoughtful dialogue. When speaking of religions and worldviews, following the social structure of pluralistic societies, we mean not only the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) but also all other institutional religions, and non-institutional, privatistic and new religious movements, orientations, and convictions as well as atheistic and anti-theistic worldviews.
  • No position is favoured within the programme. Rather, open social science and religious studies methods are used.
  • DialoguePerspectives prioritises the encounter between different individuals, above and beyond their convictions. These individuals represent diversity not only in terms of their religious/worldview orientations, but also in terms of other attributes that shape identity such as, for example, sexual and gender identities and ethnic origins.
  • Relationships are the focus of the programme: interpersonal, inter-religious/worldview, and intercultural. The encounter has the relationship as its goal: The programme lives on intensive exchange with one another, from constructive confrontation and from shared experiences of religious practice. Individual beliefs and attitudes relating to their worldviews are often seen by the participants as highly intimate aspects of their selves. This exchange thus requires a framework that makes possible very deep discussions – with the goal of crafting resilient personal alliances out of the relationships that develop after a year of working together.

 

DialoguePerspectives offers a unique change of perspective! The programme allows you to really grapple with current and highly societally relevant questions, to reflect on your own identity, and to get to know the diversity of European identities. I am very grateful for the intensive personal discussion and encounters, and the great amount of food for thought that has stuck with me long past the seminars.

Ezgi, DialoguePerspectives participant

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