Young Europeans will be coming together in Luxembourg from 25 to 29 March 2020. Around 50 Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Alevi, and atheist students and doctoral candidates from Germany, the UK, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, and Hungary are participating in the DialoguePerspectives. Discussing Religions and Worldviews seminar on the topic “Luxembourg – religious diversity, societal responsibility of religious communities in the centre of Europe”. The focus during these five days will be on questions of religious and philosophical diversity, the relationship between state and religion, and the responsibility of religions in socio-political discourses. These topics will be addressed in workshops, lectures, and innovative discussion formats with political and civil society actors and representatives of religious institutions. The participants will be meeting with, among others, Prof. Dr. Juliane Kokott and Eleanor Sharpston QC, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Shared religious practice is a significant component of the seminar. The programme includes an inclusive, ecumenical Christian service that includes all denominations and queer positions, Friday prayers with the Muslim umbrella organisation Shoura, and a Shabbat service with the Liberal Rabbi Alexander Grodensky. The religious advisors who will accompany the participants during the programme are Max Feldhake, a rabbinical student at the Abraham Geiger College, ordained pastor Kerstin Söderblom, and Islamic Studies scholar Ayşe Başol.
“Religions and worldviews fundamentally define current European discourses. In our collaboration with the European leaders of tomorrow, our programme acts at the nexus of religions, worldviews, politics, and society. We bring young people of diverse backgrounds and identities into discussion with one another. We need this diversity to meet the challenges of a pluralistic European society increasingly beset by battles of division, exclusion, and polarisation,”
explains Jo Frank, head of the programme.
DialoguePerspectives. Discussing Religions and Worldviews is a programme of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund (ELES). It is directed toward scholarship holders from all 13 scholarship funds supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). As part of the European Scholarship Programme@DialoguePerspectives, and with the support of the Federal Foreign Office, two additional scholarship holders each from the United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, and Hungary have been part of the programme since the 2019/20 programme year.
˝The programme makes possible something that is all too rare in our society these days: speaking and having discussions across borders, not about each other, but with each other. That can be a hard slog at times, but at the same time the format makes space for follow-up questions and deeper conversations that are only possible through trust on all sides.
Felix, DialoguePerspectives participant