Interreligious Dialogue in Context. A European Comparison

International Conference

October 17-19 2019

From October 17 to October 19 2019, the international conference “Interreligious Dialogue in Context: A European Comparison“ took place.

The conference was organised by the Research Centre “Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society” in cooperation with “Kirchlich Pädagogische Hochschule Wien Krems (KPH)”. In charge was Karsten Lehmann. The results shall be published in the Open Access Online Journal “Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society “JRAT.



Interreligious Dialogue has become a Europe-wide phenomenon in the last two decades. But concerning the concrete activities of dialogue, only few information is on hand.

A characteristic of the conference was that it allowed for a systematic comparison of activities of Interreligious Dialogue in diverse European countries for the first time. Experts gave talks on Interreligious Dialogue in countries like England, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sweden, Denmark and Macedonia. Additionally, interdisciplinary contributions from the perspectives of theology, educational studies, law and others enriched the conference.

“The conference made clear that Interreligious Dialogue has meanwhile become a Europe-wide phenomenon”, states Karsten Lehmann, KPH Wien/Krems, on whose initiative the Conference was organised, “Thanks to the contributions, it has become clear how strong activities of interreligious dialogue are conditioned by the respective historical and cultural context.”



Maria del Mar Griera, Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, showed that “for activities of interreligious dialogue in Spain, references to the cohabitation of diverse religions in the Middle Ages (for example in Andalusia), and to the banishment of Muslims and Jews in 1492 are still important today.” In Switzerland, to give a second example, the setting of each canton and the respective religious tradition (catholic or reformed), is of high relevance, as Hansjörg Schmid, Universität Fribourg, explained.

Furthermore, the conference made clear that for the analysis of Interreligious Dialogue, in interdisciplinary approach is necessary. Only the combination of the perspectives of social studies and theology makes it possible to analyse concrete goals and methods of interreligious dialogue.



Press Reports: