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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 5 Possibility-Suitable Conceptualizations of Interreligious Educational Processes

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CHAPTER 5

In Chapter 4 we introduced the terms ‘possibility-sensitive’ and ‘possibility-suitable,’ meaning that ‘something can also be different to how it is currently.’ This chapter seeks to render the foundations of a possibility-suitable religious pedagogy and religious didactics fruitful for the conceptualization of interreligious educational processes. No particular religious-pedagogical and religious-didactic concept is pursued, for we are still at the level of contours. In the following volumes in this series, a concept of interreligious religious pedagogical collaboration is developed using evidence-based processes.1

In what follows, we will outline the fundamentals, in the form of guidelines. Thereafter, we will discuss different approaches to religious pedagogical and religious didactic action.

The goal of a religious pedagogy or a religious didactics is to develop theoretical and practical principles for professional didactic action. On the one hand, didactic action is about gaining confidence in planning, leadership and teaching, so that appropriate learning opportunities can be offered to all participants, the learners and the teachers, skills can be promoted and appropriated, and certain standards can be achieved. At the same time, we are skeptical about the urge to consistently standardize ←131 | 132→possible interreligious competences.2 This is because ‘the best of religion cannot be standardized’ and because, especially in interreligious learning situations, descriptions of plans, goals and competences, which seem appropriate at first, often have to be spontaneously changed and adapted over and over again. For example, ‘re-planning in the process,’ as it is referred to...

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