Learning from Each Other: Theologies of Religious Pluralism, Comparative Theology and Scriptural Reasoning

An intensive course at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Sunday 22 September to Friday 4 October 2019

Immerse yourself in different world religions, consider how to enhance Catholic identity through interreligious dialogue, and gain support in developing resources to meet the needs of your own school context.

The Program Teaching Religious Diversity is an offering made available through a partnership with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).  Catholic Education Melbourne offers a range of formation programs for principals and emerging leaders, designed to support their formation for strong and effective religious leadership. This particular program is a residential program with a duration of ten days, taking place at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Program

This formation program will deliver a multimodal experience, attending to the following questions:

  • How may we, as Catholics, make sense of the phenomenon of religious diversity? Why are there so many religions and how do they relate to one another? 
  • How do different models of religious diversity impact upon the way we understand the possibility/impossibility of interreligious dialogue?  
  • What are the conditions for interreligious dialogue?  
  • What does it mean to be religiously committed in a time of detraditionalisation, individualisation and pluralisation?  
  • How do we make sense of identity and alterity; are these exclusionary terms or are they somehow interrelated?  
  • How can we enable a deep learning across traditions in our home institutions?  
  • What resources does Catholic tradition offer to learn with and from the other? 

Furthermore, this program offers 

  • An immersion in the different world religions
  • The opportunity to engage in a collegial conversation on how to enhance Catholic Identity through interreligious dialogue
  • An in-depth introduction to the best in current scholarship and teaching resources in the areas of theologies of religious pluralism, comparative theology and scriptural reasoning
  • Support in developing teaching resources, syllabi, and other programming appropriate to the particular needs of the participants’ home institutions


Didactics

Through classes, reading assignments, and visits to local communities the participants will be prepared to effectively engage in a deep learning across religious traditions. The program also introduces participants to a variety of dialogical approaches which they may use in their home institutions

  • Self-Reflection via Logbook
  • Scriptural Reasoning
  • Comparative theology reading
  • Case study method
  • Non-violent communication
  • Conflict resolution tactics

 
Topics covered will include:

  • How may we, (as Catholics) to make sense of the phenomenon of religious diversity –Why are there so many religions? How do they relate to one another? How do different models of religious diversity impact upon the way we understand the (im-)possibility of interreligious dialogue?
  • What are the conditions for interreligious dialogue?
  • What does it mean to be religiously committed in a time of detraditionalization, individualization and pluralization? How do we make sense of identity and alterity; are these exclusionary terms or are they somehow interrelated?
  • How can we enable a deep learning across traditions in our home institutions?
  • What resources does Catholic tradition offer to learn with and from the other?


Study tour highlights include:

  • An immersion in the different world religions
  • The opportunity to engage in a collegial conversation on how to enhance Catholic Identity through interreligious dialogue
  • An in-depth introduction to the best in current scholarship and teaching resources in the areas of theologies of religious pluralism, comparative theology and scriptural reasoning
  • Support in developing teaching resources, syllabi, and other programming appropriate to the particular needs of the participants’ own contexts.

 

The Faculty of Religion and Theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The Faculty of Religion and Theology at VU Amsterdam is rooted in the reformed tradition and is strongly committed to Christian values. Since the year 2000 it has become an international center where not only other protestant denominations are welcomed (Mennonites, Baptists, Pentecostals, evangelicals etc.) but also Hindus and Buddhists, as well as Muslims. Students are trained to become religious scholars, theologians, pastors, imams or Buddhist and Hindu spiritual caregivers. This faculty has become a meeting place for believers belonging to different religious traditions as well as multiple Christian denominations.

The plurality of the Netherlands translates into the student population at VU Amsterdam, the Faculty of Religion and Theology has expertise on transforming a multi-religious context into an interreligious learning environment.

The Faculty of Religion and Theology has been ranked 5th best in the world within the subject of Theology, Divinity and Religious by the QS World University Rankings. This ranking is based on several elements, including academic reputation, employee reputation and citations. The broad religious diversity contributes to the international academic reputation of the faculty.

Teaching Staff and Coordination

The program is coordinated by Marianne Moyaert.

Marianne Moyaert is Chair of Comparative Theology and Hermeneutics of Interreligious Dialogue at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is the coordinator of the Masters program Building Interreligious Relations. Her research focuses on the hermeneutical, ethical, and theological presuppositions of interreligious dialogue. She recently published In Response to the Religious Other: Ricoeur and the Fragility of Interreligious Encounters (2014) and is also interested in the ritual expressions of interreligious encounters and has published several articles on that subject in Culture and Religion, Harvard Theological Review, and the International Journal of Philosophy and Theology. Together with Joris Geldhof she edited a book entitled Ritual Participation and Interreligious Dialogue: Boundaries.

The following members of the Faculty of Religion and Theology at  Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, will also participate in the program.

  • Ruard Ganzevoort is dean of the Faculty of Religion and Theology at VU Amsterdam
  • Joke van Saane is vice-dean of the Faculty of Religion and Theology at VU Amsterdam
  • André van der Braak is professor of Buddhist philosophy and interreligious dialogue at VU Amsterdam.
  • Annewieke Vroom is assistant professor Comparative Philosophy of Religion at  VU Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the philosophy and practice of (religious) diversity. 
  • Manuela Kalsky holds the Edward Schillebeeckx Chair for Theology and Society. She researches multiple religious belonging and is the Director of the Theological Research Centre of the Dutch Dominicans (DSTS)
  • Gerdien Bertram-Troost is assistant professor at Verus-Vu Research position 'Religious education' at VU Amsterdam.
  • Wim Janse is professor in church history with an expertise on Dutch church history; theological education. 
  • Lourens Minnema is assistant professor Comparative Philosophy of Religion at VU Amsterdam. He teaches world religions and his research focusses on comparative religion.

 

Costs and payment

The costs for the ‘Learning from Each Other: Theologies of Religious Pluralism, Comparative Theology and Scriptural Reasoning’ intensive course at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam are €1400,00 in total. This does not include the costs of flight, hotel, meals and local travels. Note: At the end of the registration form you'll be asked to pay the full amount for this course, so keep your credit card at hand.

Registration and payment form

Some practical information

Transportation
You will need to arrange your own flights to Amsterdam and airport transfers. Information on getting from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam.
More information about public transport in the Amsterdam Area and planning your journey.

Hotels
A list of accommodation in the vicinity of VU Amsterdam can be found below. We highly recommend you make reservations in advance.

Or search Booking.com for other accomodations throughout Amsterdam


The address of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
VU Amsterdam Main building
De Boelelaan 1105 
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

How to get there

International Conference on Comparative Theology in Melbourne

The participants of this study tour are encouraged to attend the International Conference on Comparative Theology in Melbourne (23-24 July 2019) where professor Marianne Moyaert will deliver a keynote and time will be made available for participants of this study tour to meet specially with Professor Moyaert in preparation for this immersion. 

More information on this international conference.