Institute for Interreligious Learning (AiL)
The Institute for Interreligious Learning (AiL) takes up the pedagogical and theological challenges that result from the religious and cultural pluralisation of our society increasing especially in metropolitan agglomerations like the Ruhr area and that manifest themselves in schools and everyday life. The AiL seeks to foster and enhance interreligious learning and dialogue in academic teacher training as well as in local schools and public discourse.
The AiL is part of the chair of Religious Education at the Department of Protestant Theology of the University of Duisburg-Essen. It is headed by Prof. Dr. Thorsten Knauth.
The AiL is forum and coordination office for all forms of dialogue related to interreligious activities. In order to further interreligious competences as part of the teacher training, we offer university seminars dealing with interreligious and intercultural issues and visit different religious communities representing extra-school places of education.
Furthermore, the AiL organizes academic conferences in the subject area of dialogue and interreligious learning, to which lecturers from religious communities and other universities are invited. In addition, symposiums and study days are offered on a regular basis. Lecture series give the opportunity to explore themes in the field of religion, culture and education from interdisciplinary perspectives.
National and international research projects focus on the various forms of religious education influenced by social, cultural and religious heterogeneity. One question among others is how the chance to practice a dialogical, interreligious learning can be realized in a pedagogical setting shaped by religious variety. In order to answer this question, research relies mostly on empirical methods of religious and classroom research.
The AiL is in close contact with schools in the area of Duisburg and Essen, local religious communities and other institutes which focus on interreligious and intercultural learning.