Israeli, German universities establish joint center for religious studies
Israel’s Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Germany’s Goethe University in Frankfurt (GUF) announced on Tuesday a first-of-its-kind academic collaboration with the establishment of a joint center for the Study of Interreligious Dynamics.
‘In times of rising nationalism and antisemitism, this center’s opening is also an important sign of friendship and cooperation’
The agreement for launching the new center was signed in December 2021 and will be followed by the full agreement signed in the course of an inaugural two-day conference entitled “Thinking Interreligiously,” according to the university’s press release.
“The center will promote research on religion, in particular the monotheistic faiths – a field in which both institutions specialize – with special attention to their mutual interactions at all levels of religious life. The two universities will conduct joint research, hold academic conferences, and train students and researchers in this area,” the statement said.
The conference will comprise six working sessions with six leading scholars in the emerging field of interreligious dynamics presenting papers on their specific approach to the subject. It will conclude with a round-table discussion envisaging the impact of interreligious studies on the study of religion.
“Our joint center is more than a scientific institution. In times of rising nationalism and antisemitism, this center’s opening is also an important sign of friendship and cooperation that we are sending out into the world. The academic topic we are jointly focusing on is highly relevant to both Germany and Israel: the history and current challenges of religious diversity, differences, and conflict in pluralistic societies,” said Goethe University President Prof. Enrico Schleiff.
Prof. Milette Shamir, TAU’s VP in charge of international academic collaboration, added that Tel Aviv University has a wide network of cooperation with German universities, including hundreds of joint research projects “as well as hundreds of German students who come to our campus each year.”