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Between Cosmology and Community: Religion and Sustainable Development

In an exciting intensive online course on religion and development, master students and PhD candidates will be teamed up virtually to explore empirical research methods in theory and practice. The course investigates the relations of religion with decolonial development, ecology, politics, gender equality and peace through high-profile lectures and conveys vital academic methods and soft skills, e.g. participatory observation, research ethics, grant application writing, academic networking etc. The ambitious course supports aspiring young academics to pursue their individual interests in the field of religion and development and connects international students and researchers in a virtual setting.


Course periodJuly 20, 2020 - Aug. 1, 2020 Session II
Category Cultural Studies & Religion
Course levelsMaster, Ph.D.
LanguageEnglish
Class size

18 participants; 12 master/honours students and 6 PhD candidates. 10 participants from South Africa, 4 participants from other African countries and 4 students from Germany will be accepted to participate.

Credits and certificate

8 ECTS; to be awarded with ECTS credit points, participants are expected to attend at least 80% of the course

Application deadline May 1, 2020, or when participant quota is reached
Course fee0.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)

DAAD scholarship - the program fee will be waived.

Application documents for DAAD scholarship:

  • letter of motivation/ cover letter (approx. 1 page in English)
  • CV
  • copy of valid student ID
  • copy of valid passport

Information about the content of the letter of motivation/ cover letter:
- Explaining the motivation for participating in the summer school.
- Outlining a preliminary idea, research question and outline for a small empirical field work project related to the topic of religious communities and sustainable development to be conducted during the summer school in Cape Town.
- Please state your prior experience or knowledge of religion and sustainable development in theory and practice (if any).
- Stating how the participation in the summer school will benefit your future studies or career.
- Please state your religious affiliation as discussions in class will benefit from religious diversity in the learning group.


For PhD candidates: in addition to the points mentioned above, a short research outline of your PhD project on religion and sustainable development should be included in the cover letter. Please note that PhD candidates must work in the field of religion and development in order to qualify for the course.
 

Please send your application documents to:
storjuli@hu-berlin.de

Description

Cosmology and Community highlight a field of tension and constitute two foci: On the one hand, religious communities are social entities, whose constitutive factor is the interaction among their members and with wider society. On the other hand, the distinctive feature of religious communities is their reference to cosmology. They are agents of world view production, identity formation and values synthesis. With respect to sustainable development, Community indicates active contributions by religious agents to processes of social, economic, ecological and cultural transformation. Cosmology refers to the ideological dimension, the impact of the formation of mind-sets, belief and knowledge systems, attitudes and behaviour on these processes of transformation.

Sustainable development is often understood as such development that produces sustainable change. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a key frame of reference, but related to the realm of Cosmology, the aim of the Summer School will be to investigate notions of development both of religious communities and their respective ideological presuppositions. The current discourse on religion and development largely takes place within a secular framework. This is challenged by the perspective of religious actors themselves, for whom development is part of religion, i.e. professional and academic experts’ notions of development represent only one dimension in a more comprehensive human and social transformation. Hence, under the theme of Cosmology, the Summer School will analyse notions in religious communities as the good life, human flourishing and transformation in relationship to dominant western and secular notions of development and modernity.

Syllabus

Preliminary Online Course Program

Course structure

 

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9.00-10.30

Welcome, Introduction, Technical support and details, Expectations of participants – John Klaasen, Ignatius Swart and Juliane Stork

Lecture: "Religion and Ecology" - Muoegamad Gallant

Lecture: "Religion and Gender Justice" - Tanya van Wyk

 

 

Lecture: "Religion and Politics" - Nadine Bowers du Toit

PhD Candidates: Where to publish articles on Religion and Development? - Ignatius Swart

10.30-11.00

Break

Break

Break

Break

Break

11.00-12.30

Lecture: "Religion and Development" - Séverine Deneulin (digital lecture)

Research methods I: gathering data: participating observation, interview methods, online research - Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost

 

Research methods II: reflecting on the researcher's role / the ethnographic methods and intercultural sensibilisation - Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost

Research methods III: Data analysis and protection: video and audio analysis, text analysis - Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost

PhD Candidates: advanced research course on social research networks - Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann interviewed by Juliane Stork

12.30-13.30

Break //optional: lunch in small groups

Break //optional: lunch in small groups

Break //optional: lunch in small groups

Break //optional: lunch in small groups

Break //optional: lunch in small groups

13.30-15.00

Seminar: three working groups working on a text on “Religious comm. as development actors” and “The Secular Distinction” in development work and “alternative/contextual concepts of development” – concluding the session in a plenary discussion on all three texts - Juliane Stork

MA students: Online research on Religion and Ecology in learning tandems with a given research question -Marie-Luise Frost

Seminar: Text work on "Religion and Gender Justice" - Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk

MA students: evaluation of the first individual online research phase -Marie-Luise Frost

PhD Candidates: advanced course on research ethics - Tanya van Wyk)

PhD Candidates: advanced course on research management - Ignatius Swart, Philipp Öhlann

Phd Candidates: PhD candidates exchange their research topics in a research pitch format - Ignatius Swart, Juliane Stork

MA students: whole day for online research on any topic from the field of Religion and Development in learning tandems with their own research question.

15.00-15.30

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

18.00-20.00

 

Movie night and discussion: “Silas Siakor - Confronting Land Grabbers” (Optional) /

Moolade (Sembene, 2004) / Osama (Barmak, 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

09.00-10.30

Welcome back after the weekend -Juliane Stork

Lecture: "Religion and Peace" - Ekkardt Sonntag

Lecture: "Lived Religion as a hermeneutical lense" - Wilhelm Gräb

Practical insight: religious leader on Religion and Development – Don Makumbani

Practical insight: Kate Davies from SAFCEI

 

10.30.-11.00

Break

Break

Break

 

 

11.00-12.30

Seminar session: Religion and Peace – Ekkardt Sonntag

Seminar: Religion and Politics - Jordan Kynes

PhD Candidates: planning phase for joint, international research initiatives - Chair: Teddy Sakupapa

Feedback and Goodbyes – Ignatius Swart, Juliane Stork

 

12.30-13.30

Break

Break

 

 

 

13.30-15.00

MA students:

Presenting findings of their online research in two groups– Marie-Luise Frost/Juliane Stork

MA students:

Presenting findings of their online research in two groups– Marie-Luise Frost/Juliane Stork

PhD Candidates: planning phase for joint, international research initiatives - Chair: Teddy Sakupapa

 

 

MA students: academic ways forward in international research cooperation (discussing MA thesis titles/finding international supervisors) – Philipp Öhlmann, Tanya van Wyk

15.00-15.30

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

Home Groups – Juliane Stork, Marie-Luise Frost, Tanya van Wyk, Philipp Öhlmann, Ekkardt Sonntag

 

 

18.00-20.00

 

 

 

 

 


 

Motivation Letter about one page in German
Student Profile

Master students, Honours students and PhD students with an academic background and a strong interest in religious studies, theology, development studies, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology or related subjects.

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Gräb

Ms. Juliane Stork

Ms. Marie-Luise Frost

Mr. Philipp Öhlmann

Dr. Ignatius Swart

Dr. Tanya van Wyk

Dr. Séverine Deneulin

Mr. Muoegamad Gallant

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin
Germany

huwisu@hu-berlin.de