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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 4 Possibility-Sensitive Religious Pedagogy and Religious Didactics



So far, we have discussed the context and the anthropological, theological, educational and religious doctrinal foundations of an interreligious religious pedagogy and religious didactics from our perspectives, and in Chapter 3, we referred to our religious-pedagogical and religious-didactic origins. These concepts and experiences serve as the basis for further development. In this chapter, we deal with questions regarding our goal in developing an interreligious religious pedagogy. In the process, we pay specific attention to the possibility-suitable or contingent,1 the understanding and religious-pedagogical significance of which seems to us to be central to the development of an interreligious religious pedagogy. Key points include the understanding of truth and the definition of interreligiosity, denominationality and identity.

We have already used such concepts as possibility-suitable and contingent or contingency-sensitive, without having sufficiently clarified what we mean by them. Hence, as a first step, we wish to investigate the meaning of these concepts and, in particular, to focus our attention on the term ‘contingency.’

There are different understandings of contingency.2 Very often, particularly in the classical logical sense, contingency is understood as the counterpart to the concept of necessity. Two aspects of the contingent, or the possible, which is derived from it, can be characterized as follows. Aspect 1: The contingent is that which is not necessary. What is not necessary may or may not be or may be different than it is. Thereby, the possible is characterized thus: It can be different than it...

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