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Becoming Human

Fundamentals of Interreligious Education and Didactics from a Muslim-Christian Perspective

Edited By Zekirija Sejdini, Martina Kraml and Matthias Scharer

Religious and cultural diversity are increasingly visible today. At the same time, increased fear of the «other» has manifested, particularly of the Islamic religion. Islam today is considered a «problematic» religion. This attitude yields many challenges in universities and schools, particularly when it comes to religious education. The Institute for Islamic Theology and Religious Education and the Catholic Religious Education Department at the University of Innsbruck are addressing these challenges, having spearheaded a program of intensive cooperation in teacher education – including courses on pedagogy, religious didactics, internships, and evidence-based learning processes in schools and universities.

This research and teaching collaboration lacked an appropriate framework. This book provides a solid basis for interreligious pedagogy and didactics. Authentic interreligious cooperation begins by promoting intra- and inter-religious self-confidence and self-understanding. This required countless discussions among the authors, which yielded distinct viewpoints as well as commonalities. In this way the anthropological starting point for this book emerged and is expanded through a theological perspective on religious education and didactics. Various approaches and attitudes are developed and examined, including contingency sensibility, to support the competent planning, management, and evaluation of educational processes in pluralistic and heterogeneous fields.

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Chapter 3 Religious Pedagogy and Religious Didactics: Where Do We Come From?



Appreciation of biographical narratives, attention to the contexts we live in and clarification of the anthropological, theological and religious pedagogical foundations, which we thematized in the preceding chapters, are integral to the way we work in Innsbruck with regard to religious pedagogy and religious didactics. This chapter addresses our religious pedagogical and religious didactic origin, as we would like, on the one hand, to clarify the background of the so-called ‘Innsbruck model of religious didactics,’ and, on the other hand, to make it fruitful for interreligious religious pedagogy and religious didactics. To make this background easier to grasp, we will begin by discussing the specific foundations of the interreligious religious pedagogy and religious didactics in Innsbruck.

The recent history of religious pedagogy and religious didactics at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck is influenced in particular by two concepts: Theme-Centered Interaction (TCI), based on the work of Ruth C. Cohn, and Communicative Theology (ComTheo). These are given a concrete religious didactic from in the so-called ‘Innsbruck model of religious didactics.’1 This is characterized by ←79 | 80→the – deliberate and theologically considered – reception of common religious pedagogical currents, such as correlation and symbol didactics and competence orientation.

Both TCI and ComTheo go beyond narrow (religious) pedagogical issues. TCI is practiced in various fields, such as psychotherapy, counseling, science and research, business and education – particularly in adult education, teacher training and also school learning. ComTheo is a theological approach that...

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