Islamic Religious Education and Specialized Didactics
This specialist field concerns the academic study of the processes of religious socialization, upbringing and education. The religion and culture of Islam with its different branches as well as Muslim lifestyles form a central focus of educational studies. In a wider sense, this area deals with effective educational structures and their functions as part of civil society where Muslims or the topic of Islam is significant. This field is therefore concerned with general social contexts in which questions arise about the theories and sociologies of educational matters and their reflection in terms of religions and religious ideas. Theories about adult education, educational biographies and education in old age fall under this category as well as community-based education.
In a more narrowly defined sense, this subject also incorporates educational activity in formal education settings where young Muslims are an obvious target group, for example, Islamic religious studies taught as a school subject. As an academic discipline specializing in the methodological study of school tuition, the task of Islamic specialized didactics is to identify sensible structures to organize school tuition about Islam and manage the interaction with Muslim school pupils. Theories about religious instruction in relation to Islam are therefore of particular interest.
The models for the structure and organization of school tuition can refer to corresponding, and in some cases also competing perspectives, which also point to related disciplines that are relevant for interdisciplinary research. Examples of such disciplines are the normative character of Islam manifested in its different educational traditions, the fundamental right of different religious communities to establish specific areas of content, issues related to faith and anthropological enquiries, the formation of theory in religious education, the heterogeneous lifeworlds of young Muslims or educational framework conditions as a social and cultural task.
Finally, attention is also paid to the special opportunities in school as a place of learning, which facilitates interaction with pupils from other denominations, or those without any formal religious affiliation. Research objectives will therefore include the question of how denominational or other forms of religious instruction can foster the practice and reflection of an appropriate interreligious dialogue in the classroom and beyond.