DialoguePerspective‘s mission is to meaningfully contribute to European understanding and collaboration, to the strengthening and defense of European civil society, and to the shaping of a pluralistic and democratic Europe grounded in the principle of solidarity.
- To create a European, globally-acting and robust network of future European leaders, with the goal of training them to become competent shapers of European discourses at the intersection of religions/worldviews, academia, politics, culture, business, and social responsibility.
- To further develop a constructive, societally-oriented dialogue between religious and worldview-based communities in Europe with the goal of strengthening these diverse European communities across national boundaries, creating new European alliances, kindling a feeling of mutual protection and solidarity between individual religious and worldview communities, and to translate this feeling to a shared European responsibility to take action for one another.
- To create a robust European network of renowned academic, civil society, political, religious/worldview, and corporate partner institutions and organizations in European partner countries to facilitate the transfer of DialoguePerspectives’ insights and methods with the goal of actively strengthening European cooperation.
- To actively participate in shaping current and future European discourses at the intersections between religions/worldviews, academia, politics, and societal responsibility using practical, outcome-oriented, and pluralistic dialogue processes and formats.
Religious/Worldview Pluralism at the Center of Societal Political Relevance
Europe is a site of diversity, a space of possibilities and of societal collaboration. Europe is characterised by a religious/worldview pluralism that has long since overtaken societal cohesion in the sense of a uniform national or religious homogeneity. Europe is, however, also characterised by political fragmentation and polarisation, rising nationalism and the rejection of other ways of life. Pluralization does not only mean the multiplication and differentiation of identities, but also the strengthening of religious/worldview communities. In Europe’s diverse communities, questions of integration have long fallen out of discussion. Rather, critical self-confidence is being tested, societal inclusion demanded, and participation in public discourse encouraged.
Reflecting on Political and Societal Frameworks– Actively Shaping Discourses – Sustainably Impacting Society
In these discourses, questions are raised about the individual and social significance of religions and worldviews, especially in connection with socio-politically important issues. To reflect upon these discourses, to analyse through our work the various political and societal conditions present in Europe and the challenges they entail for the diverse communities, to actively position ourselves and shape society together – these have been fundamental goals of DialoguePerspectives since the beginning. The role that religions and worldviews can play in the shaping of European society is a process of negotiation that must reflect societal plurality and include those who do not identify with any religion. We always clearly understand interfaith/worldview dialogue in this sense as political practice. The participants develop shared goals for fostering societal stability, resilience, and strength in European societies.
Space for Encounters, Exchange, and Joint Work
By establishing a new format of interreligious-worldview dialogue, DialoguePerspectives creates a space for encounters, exchange, and joint work between European students shape by various religious orientations and worldviews, representing a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.
Foundational Questions for our Joint Work
- How can we enter into a shared dialogue across national, cultural, and religious/worldview boundaries?
- How can we position ourselves within existing discourses as an image of the increasing pluralization in Europe?
- Which new forms of discussing questions at the intersection between religions, worldviews, politics, and society can be developed together?
- How can antagonisms and conflicts in peoples’ personal life-paths be addressed, while forming shared positions at the same time?
- How can we deal with the shared challenges of a pluralistic and increasingly fragmented and polarized European society, with attacks on religious minorities, and with the questioning of interfaith dialogue by right-wing extremism and nationalism?
- Which values are the foundation of the EU, and to what extent do these values actually inform European societies?
- How can joint societal action in Europe be shaped?
Foundational Conceptual Assumptions
- Religions fundamentally shape the lives and actions of individuals and society. DialoguePerspectives works on a foundational assumption of religious pluralism. All dialogue partners are entitled to equal participation in an inclusive, contemporary, and thoughtful dialogue.
- When speaking of religions and worldviews, following the social structure of pluralistic societies, we mean not only the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) but also all other institutional religions, and non-institutional, privatistic and new religious movements, orientations, and convictions as well as atheistic and anti-theistic worldviews.
- No position is favoured within the programme. Rather, open social science and religious studies methods are used.
- DialoguePerspectives prioritises the encounter between different individuals, above and beyond their convictions. These individuals represent diversity not only in terms of their religious/worldview orientations, but also in terms of other attributes that shape identity such as, for example, sexual and gender identities and ethnic origins.
- Relationships are the focus of the programme: interpersonal, interreligious/worldview, and intercultural. The encounter has the relationship as its goal: The programme lives on intensive exchange with one another, from constructive confrontation and from shared experiences of religious practice. Individual beliefs and attitudes relating to their worldviews are often seen by the participants as highly intimate aspects of their selves. This exchange thus requires a framework that makes possible very deep discussions – with the goal of crafting resilient personal alliances out of the relationships that develop after a year of working together.