Faculty of Protestant Theology
The Faculty of Protestant Theology is a place of dialogue and critical thinking which makes a scientific contribution, through dedicated research and teaching, to understanding the real world and shaping a just and supportive community in the tradition of Frankfurt’s citizens’ university. Alongside its courses devoted specifically to Protestant Theology, the Faculty also offers religious studies. It examines, teaches, and questions concepts and self-perceptions in Protestant theologies in their respective contexts and modalities as well as approaches to religious phenomena, rationalities, and collectives from the perspectives of theology and philosophy of religion. Its key objective is to empower future priests, teachers, and other professionals in various religion-related fields to shape religious practice and religious discourse in a critical and constructive manner for the good of society as a whole.
More so today than ever before, the coming together of different cultures, religions, and political convictions in a globalized world demands not only that we nurture the traditions of Protestant Theology but also confront them with the pluralist everyday reality of our present times and the differing beliefs which we encounter there. In doing so, our starting point is neither a rigid concept of Protestant Theology nor a harmonising notion of religion, but instead the necessity to adopt a processual and dialogue-oriented way of thinking towards theology and religious discourse. Despite all the diversity and dialogicity in its concepts and manifestations, its ties to the Good News Bible makes theology and religious practice clearly recognizable as Protestant. This dialogical understanding of Protestant Theology is reflected at our University by the fact that in addition to the classic subjects (Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Systematic Theology, Ethics, Religious Education, Practical Theology) independent subjects, which have no related denominational logic but are aimed at the scientific understanding of other religions and the dialogue with them, are also represented (Jewish Philosophy of Religion, Study of Religion with Specialization in Islam). In addition, the Faculty of Protestant Theology tailors its research and teaching in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary cooperation with almost all other faculties at Goethe University as well as in the framework of national and international partnerships with other universities in the area of theological and religion-related research. Working together with Jewish and Islamic disciplines has been an actively practiced and indispensable part of the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Frankfurt since its foundation in 1986.
Last but not least, Protestant Theology in Frankfurt addresses the critical task of making the destructive potential of religions and other ideologies the subject of discussion at the point where these divide societies through the idealization of one’s own beliefs and the defamation of others’ beliefs and were entangled again and again in the name of religious or political conviction in the ostracism, torture, and murder of people who believe or think differently – even to the extent of genocide. This critical look is also directed at the history and current actions of Protestant churches and players. With great concern and vigilance, the Faculty of Protestant Theology criticizes instrumentalizations of religious traditions as a means to legitimize violence and ostracism in the name of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity – the three most significant religions which – with their constructive, creative, and human potential – belong to the entire world, Europe, and last but not least to Germany too.