Comparative Theology in Germany – Muslims and Christians Discussing Nietzsche

Source: Qantara

Klaus von Stosch Stosch is the most important representative of Comparative Theology in Germany. In his new reference work, Stosch writes that this course of studies is a “guide to the world of religions”. Ursula Rüssmann introduces the man and his theology of dialogue

At some point, as a young Catholic, Klaus von Stosch wondered: How would I believe, if I had grown up in India, as a Muslim or a Hindu? The question arose, as the theology professor recalls today, because alongside his own “deeply consistent” Christian faith, he was also hugely fascinated by his Moroccan brother-in-law, a devout Muslim. “I asked myself what is it like for people in other cultures? And how do the two things fit together: My truth and theirs?”

These are the very same questions posed in simpler terms by today’s primary school children, when they see that their Muslim friends take time off school at the end of Ramadan, and that they don’t celebrate Christmas. These questions are at the heart of Stosch’s academic research at the Centre for Comparative Theology and Cultural Studies (ZeKK) at the University of Paderborn.
The study branch of Comparative Theology looks for ways for Christians to value other religious convictions without giving up their own Comparative Theology (CT), a theology of religion strand that is still relatively new in German-speaking countries, seeks Christian answers to questioned raised by the pluralist daily realities of modern societies. The study branch looks for ways for Christians to value other religious convictions without giving up their own. In his new reference work, Stosch writes that CT is a “guide to the world of religions”. Hardly a modest claim.

Stosch is the most important representative of CT here in Germany, and primarily works in close cooperation with Muslim theologians. Last autumn, he delivered guest lectures in Christian theology to Shiite students in the Iranian city of Ghom. In January, he was a guest at the Benedictine Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, together with the Islamic religious educationalist Mouhanad Khorchide from the German city of Münster.

The focus of the week-long workshop was eschatalogical concepts in Islam and Christianity. Perceptions of violence in the Bible and Koran is one subject on the agenda of a conference scheduled to take place in Schwerte this March, an event organised by the Paderborn centre in conjunction with the Centre for Islamic Theology in Münster and the Mercator Foundation.

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Categories: CHRISTIANITY, Germany, Islam, Religion

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