STSM on the role of interreligious dialogue in reducing the differences of religious diversity in Germany

Aug 24, 2023

COREnet member assoc. prof. Genti Kruja from Bedër University College, Albania, during his Short-Term Scientific Mission in Germany, researched the role of interreligious dialogue in reducing the differences of religious diversity in Germany. He chose Germany because it is one of the largest countries in the European Union, which has the largest number of immigrants. Today, it has a marked religious diversity and an important contribution to interreligious dialogue through many organizations, NGOs and universities, which are working to strengthen and promote interreligious dialogue in Germany and beyond.

Last year in May 2022, Prof. Kruja was part of the ceremony of opening the new center of “Religions for Peace-Europe”, that transferred from Brussels. He is also the Vice President of ENIB (European National Interreligious Bodies), Religions for Peace, Europe. Multireligious cooperation and action of RfP focuses on supporting social, environmental, and economic justice and peaceful and harmonious societies and communities across Europe. A cooperation between religious communities and leaders includes but also goes beyond dialogue and bears fruit in common concrete action. Their diverse religious networks draw upon their deeply held and widely shared moral concerns, such as transforming violent conflict; gender inequality; environmental degradation; threats to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion; lack of interreligious understanding; and the shrinking space for civil society and multilateralism.

Considering the topic of the COST action CA20107 – “Connecting Theory and Practical Issues of Migration and Religious Diversity (COREnet) “, he chose the topic “The role of interreligious dialogue in reducing the differences of religious diversity in Germany”. The study, based on the developed questionnaire, analyzed the work and role of academic institutions and NGOs in Germany, which promote dialogue as the only alternative against hate speech, which has an increased in Germany recently.

He began his research on Short-Term Scientific Mission from Augsburg University hosted by Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Naurath, lecturer at the university and President of Religions for Peace Germany. During this scientific mission Genti visited some institutions that are involved in interfaith dialogue, and he met researchers and activists on interreligious dialogue in Munich, Augsburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Nuremberg, Berlin and Potsdam University.

He prepared the survey with 22 questions about the institutions that are active in interfaith dialogue, and he shared this survey with 17 academic and interreligious dialogue institutions to produce a study on the research topic. According to the survey, the goal of these institutions is to be part of society, be totally engaged in solving different problems of society, and be actively engaged citizens. They also have empowerment projects for young people of different cultural backgrounds to promote diversity and democratic attitudes.

The institutions in the survey see in this diversity the chance to learn from each other, so diversity is enrichment, but it also brings difficulties with it. They do not consider differences to be disturbing, and they do not try to reduce differences but to harmonize them. They endeavour to celebrate diversity and differences. They emphasize that do not want to reduce religious diversity, but they are in favour of religious diversity; one of their slogans is being FRIENDS IN DIFFERENCE.

In the photo: Assoc. Prof. Genti Kruja with Prof. Elisabeth Naurath


What is a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) within COREnet?

A Short-Term Scientific Mission, funded by the COST Action COREnet, consists of a visit to a host organization located in a different country to the country of affiliation of a Researcher in order to carry out specific work as part of a research project. In addition to research purposes, Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are aimed to support researchers’ individual mobility, to strengthen existing networks and to foster collaboration between individuals. The purpose of a STSM is thus to gain new partnerships, to learn new techniques and to gain access to specific data, instruments and/or methods not available in their own institutions/organizations.

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