Transcultural Networks

Potentials of Global Learning in Religious Networks

PhD Autumn School 2022

Transcultural Networks result from permanent contacts between different cultural contexts enhanced through globalization, intercultural relationships, and worldwide migration. These encounters enable new transcultural entanglements und transformations, which form a basis for future oriented global collaborations. 

The network of Christian churches in present is shaped by the history of mission, colonialism and globalization in 19th and 20th century, but also by experiences of living and celebrating together, and tends to develop further into multidirectional transcultural networks. Education is an important part of this network. Thus, transcultural networks of Churches constitute an eminent potential for the promotion of education, scientific freedom, and social responsibility.

In pandemic times, tendencies of fragility, crisis, and deglobalization of the widely ramified and differentiated network structures of religion and education are observed. This necessitates the re-reading of existing concepts and network understandings. The analysis of these changes is one of the current topics of network research. New sustainable resources of religious education networks are evaluated under the paradigm of global learning.

Guiding research questions are (e.g.): 

  • How do transcultural networks as formed structures of encounter and negotiation change in times of crisis? Are there dynamics that guide the future?
  • Which factors promote networking, integration, communication and synergy in times of crisis? When do crisis have disintegrating effects?
  • What (active/passive, transforming/transformed) role do individuals play in this? What options for action do individuals have? 
  • What cultural, religious, educational and value-related negotiation processes take place?
  • How do learning, educational and religious cultures change? 
  • What role do forms of communication and encounter (digital and/or in person) play in the establishment of networks

The Autumn School offers international Doctoral students of theology and education a high-quality interdisciplinary training on the topic of transcultural networks. The expected outcome is the development of a multidisciplinary and international panorama of main factors stabilizing and fragilizing global transcultural networks in the area of religious communities and their education systems. Furthermore, the participants will create their own research network for developing the academic carrier. Next to keynotes and professional discussions, the presentation of the respective PhD project and the participation in cooperative learning in ecumenical perspective are requested.

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