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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Public Theology


Mission Statement


Public Theology, understood as theologically informed interdisciplinary discourse on public issues and the scholarly reflexion thereof, is of paramount importance in modern societies which tend to be pluralistic in regard to religions and comprehensive worldviews. It involves the plural perspectives of faith into public debates and allows for a critical reflection of those perspectives.


Thus, it enables public scrutiny of those perspectives while enriching public discourse by the contribution of religious perspectives. As Public Theolohy is vitally interested in public discourse as part of a democratic and pluralistic culture, it tries to enable and further it wherever possible. By rendering the particular background perspectives transparent, Public Theology contributes to the clarification of normative issues, the formation of opinions and political delibaration.


Even though originating in a Protestant Christian field of discourse, Public Thelology as an academic endeavour aims at an horizon encompassing ecumenical, interreligious and other perspectives on comprehensive worldviews.



Cover Religion and DemocracyT. Meireis, R. Schieder (Eds.): Religion and Democracy. Studies in Public Theology


"Democracy isn´t dead, it just smells funny." This variation about a quip on jazz by Frank Zappa sums up our current experience with democracy: even though most countries profess to have some sort of democracy, a change for the worse seems underfoot. As public theology has a strong affinity to democracy, a critical, interdisciplinary, ecumenical an dinterreligious assesment of how religions may help in furthering democratic forms of government seems appropriate. This book tries to undertake steps in this direction. It consists of three sections: the first tries to identify challenges and resources in the relationship between religion and democracy. The second part reflects on the framework of that relationship and the third section tries to identify examples of tasks that need to be accomplished. All the texts have been contributed by the members of the newly founded  Berlin Institute for Public Theology, who agree on the necessity of a public theological effort, especially with regard to the question of democracy, but disagree on what this effort needs to consist in.

Contributions by Andreas Feldtkeller, Eva Harasta, Florian Höhne, Mouez Khalfaoui, Torsten Meireis, Matthias Möring-Hesse, Marcia Pally, Rolf Schieder, Christine Schliesser and Clemens Wustmans.


Torsten Meireis, Rolf Schieder (Eds.): Religion and Democracy. Studies in Public Theology (Ethik und Gesellschaft, Vol. 3), Baden-Baden: Nomos 2017, 181 pp., ISBN 978-3-8487-4135-9, 34,- €




Logo Fritz Thyssen StiftungWhat is „Public Theology“?

Opening Conference, Berlin Institute for Public Theology (June 21st-22nd, 2017)


„Public Theology“ is a possible lable for debates on religious issues in the public sphere. But the question of theologoy´s public significance and impact is a contested one inside and outside religious communities - not least in question of who´s in charge. The Berlin Institute for Public Theology accepts the challenge. Thus, the opening conference is dedicated to the question: What is Public Theology?

Please find more information here.

Find some impressions of the Opening Conference here and the complete video documentation here.