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Religion and Dialogue in Modern Societies

Religion and Dialogue in Modern Societies (East London Strand)

Duration: 2013-2018

Researcher in London: Dr Julia Ipgrave (WRERU)

Religion and Dialogue in Modern Societies (ReDi) is a five year research project led by Prof Wolfram Weisse (Academy of World Religions, Hamburg University) and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project involves a simultaneous study of interreligious dialogue at two levels - dialogical theology and dialogical practice – and a conversation between the two as the dialogical theology refers to empirical findings about lived dialogical practice and integrates the experiences and conceptions of ordinary people in everyday encounters with religious pluralism. The empirical research is being carried out in five European metropolitan areas, Hamburg, Rhein-Ruhr, East London, Stockholm and Oslo. Julia Ipgrave of WRERU has responsibility for the London wing of the project. Working from a base at the Contextual Theology Centre, East London, she is using case studies (participant observation, interviews and informal discussions) to investigate different models of inter religious engagement: inter faith education programmes in local schools, inter faith forums and community action projects (specifically those funded through the Near Neighbours programme) which bring people of different faith communities together to tackle shared concerns in their neighbourhoods. A number of themes are suggesting themselves as worthy of investigation for the impact they have on the nature of the inter religious engagement being studied, and on any underlying or emerging theologies. They include engagement with local authorities, the structures and networks of established religion, social deprivation and social concern, physical and mental wellbeing, shared space, the force of individual personality, female solidarity, presenting a common front against those who seek to divide.

A blog
and link to a report (Grassroots
Theologies of Inter Faith Encounter) available here