Promoting cultural diversity and civil society

 

Cultural and social diversity are characteristic of day-to-day life in our modern society. They arise from geographic mobility, discontinuous employment histories, the pluralisation of cultural and religious practices or changing family structures and traditions. Science and research create the preconditions for meeting the resulting challenges.

Unlocking potential for cohesion and social inclusion
Science and research consider it their responsibility to contribute to solving the central societal issues of our time. These are issues where socio-economic, political, demographic and ecological developments interact in complex ways. A worrying symptom with enormous societal impact is the increasing socio-economic inequality that can be observed in almost all industrialised countries since the 1980s. A major aim of future funding activities is therefore to open up potential for cohesion and social inclusion.

All major societal challenges have a European or even international dimension. Calls for proposals are therefore designed for compatibility with "Horizon 2020", the Framework Programme of the EU Commission.

The current funding measure "Financial system and society. The changing significance and function of the financial system" (call for proposals published 10/09/2013) examines the causes and effects of the financial and economic crisis and (desirable) functions of the financial system in a societal context. Its starting point is the realisation that the significance and function of the financial sector for business, politics and society changed fundamentally in the decades leading up to the financial crisis. Many of the structures that are today considered causes of the crisis were originally designed to solve problems that existed at that time. The aim of the call for proposals is to develop a better understanding of these processes and derive possible courses of action for relevant stakeholders.

Theology, religions
In January 2010, the German Council of Science and Humanities published its "Recommendations on the Advancement of Theologies and Sciences concerned with Religions at German Universities", according to which the growing plurality of religious affiliations in Germany and the increasing need for scientific expertise on religion is presenting new challenges for the structure and capacity of the associated sciences. The German Council of Science and Humanities recommended carrying out the necessary structural adjustments in particular of the Christian theologies and the expansion of the remaining subjects within the public higher education system.

Based on these recommendations, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been providing support for the creation of centres for Islamic theology at universities in the form of project funding for initially five years. These centres are to become internationally recognised sites of Islamic theological research, produce the next generation of scholars in Islamic studies and train Islamic religious education teachers. In addition, they will enable scholars of religion to pursue scientifically founded studies within the public higher education system. For this purpose, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding guest and research professorships as well as theological and interdisciplinary junior research groups. Provision of this support is contingent on high requirements: an independent, long-term financial commitment by the Länder and the universities and an appropriate range of subjects at the participating universities, for example with Christian theologies, Islamic or religious sciences. Four centres were created: in Tübingen, in Münster/Osnabrück, in Frankfurt/Main (connected to the University of Gießen) and in Erlangen/Nuremberg. For more information, please visit the BMBF website.

Funding has been provided for the development of the Centre for Jewish Studies Berlin-Brandenburg (Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg) since 2012. The centre combines research activities with study and teaching; it also strengthens international exchange through guest professorships and fellowships and creates employment for young researchers. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the development of this institution with € 7.8 Mio. for a period of initially five years. The centre takes up the great tradition of Jewish scholarship in particular in the Berlin area. It is home to the entire range of academic interest in Judaism: from historic and cultural scientific approaches (particularly at Humboldt-Universität Berlin) through philological and dialogical approaches (particularly at Freie Universität Berlin), religious history and theological-philosophical approaches (especially at the University of Potsdam) to Holocaust and antisemitism research at Technische Universität Berlin, research into Zionism at the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies and academic training for rabbis and cantors at the Abraham Geiger College.

Documents

CONTACT PERSONS

Theology und Religions:
Dr. Rolf Geserick

+49 228 3821-1599
+49 228 3821-1500
E-Mail

Theology und Religions:
Dr. Maria Böhme

+49 228 3821-1925
+49 228 3821-1500
E-Mail

Agenda process:
Dr. Stephanie Becker

+49 228 3821-1557
+49 228 3821-1500
E-Mail

Financial system and society:
Dr. Monika Wächter

+49 228 3821-1597
+49 228 3821-1500
E-Mail

Dr. Cedric Janowicz

+49 228 3821-1769
+49 228 3821-1500
E-Mail