Religionswissenschaft und Religionsgeschichte



Interdisziplinäre Seminarveranstaltung:

Encountering the Foreign and Strange / Begegnung mit dem Fremden

19.02.2018 – 23.02.2018

19. - 23.02.2018, Venice International University (VIU), San Servolo Island, Venice

Socio-political alliances and religious traditions acknowledge the importance of negotiating the „other“ and, indeed, are shaped by both what they define as different and how they go about defining it. The seminar shall pursue this theme through an interdisciplinary approach that takes specialist expertise of teaching staff and various levels of research interests among students and early-career academics into account. In particular, the seminar sessions shall, as a whole, take the historic and contemporary encounter of religious traditions rooted in Christianity with diverse forms of Judaism and Islam as the point of departure, informed by social and cultural studies approaches, expressions of culture (e.g. art, music, literature), and the study and analysis of interreligious encounter itself. The basis for the sessions themselves shall include: (a) sources from antiquity; (b) competing scholarly discourse about their significance; (c) representations of Christians, Jews, or Muslims as „other“ in early, medieval, pre-modern, and modern theology, art and music in western and non-western cultures; and (d) social and cultural studies as well as historical analysis of factors that shape religious and socio-cultural understanding. In relation to the Venetian context, the seminar will focus attention on the history, socio-cultural, and religious contributions, past and present, of the Jewish „Ghetto“ and of the city of Venice itself, an extraordinary example of encounter and division between different cultural, religious, and social-political identities.
Advanced students in Theology and in the Study of Religion.

The seminar includes presentations of ongoing projects, discussion of literature and visits to Venice in relation to the topic. The students are expected to contribute actively to the seminar with previous reading of selected literature, short presentations of case studies, and an active participation in the site visit.

To apply for participation, students are asked to send a short proposal of maximum 400 words for a paper related to the topic. The proposal should describe either a historical or contemporary case study or reflect a theoretical perspective. In addition, students should submit a short letter of motivation. Since places are limited, the contributions will be selected that contribute best to the development of the topic at the seminar.

Please send the paper and requested materials to: The deadline is 1st November 2017.

For those students selected to participate in the seminar, there will be a required information meeting on 10th January 2018, 18.00–20.00.
For further information, please contact:

Loren Stuckenbruck:
Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati:
Robert Yelle: