Philosophy, Theology, Religious Education

How do we orient ourselves in the world? Which values and principles give support and point the way? These questions are the focus of the courses in philosophy, theology and religious education.

The study field at a glance

At the same time, the perspectives in the individual courses of study differ: While philosophy deals with, among other things, the thinking and cognition of man in the world, theology and religious studies explore different faiths empirically, historically and systematically. For theologians, the career path is usually quite clear, while philosophers and religious scholars find broader and more diverse career opportunities.

Philosophy is completely dedicated to man. It sheds light on his thinking and position in the world, questions his actions and discusses his problems.

While the study of religious education qualifies for teaching as a religious teacher in schools and for church work, religious studies deals with the diversity of past and present religions.

Theological programs (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Islamic) scientifically explore and interpret the different doctrines of the faith.

Offered courses

In addition to the general study of philosophy specialized courses such as Philosophy & Economics, Applied Philosophy and Ancient Philosophy are offered. Contents of religious education are taught under study program titles such as community education and diaconia, practical theology or even religious education. Even in the religious sciences, the selection is great. It ranges from Inter-Religious Studies on Christianity and Culture to Comparative Cultural and Religious Studies. If you are interested in theology, you will usually find the desired program under this term – supplemented by the respective doctrine of faith.

Contents of the course

Subfields of philosophy study include metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics and aesthetics. Links to other subjects form, for example, the legal, historical, social and linguistic philosophy.

The study of religious education includes at universities and colleges, for example, modules on basic problems of religious studies, religious history, empirical religious research, religious education and literature of religions and languages. In addition, knowledge in the following areas taught: Biblical and systematic theology (dogmatic, ethics), religious studies, theology of religions and church history. In addition there are pedagogy, psychosocial fundamentals, sociology, media education, jurisprudence, religious pedagogy, community pedagogy and church educational work.

The interdisciplinary and cultural studies oriented Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies focuses on the history of religion in cultural studies, inter- and transdisciplinary religious research, Judaism, Islam and Asian religions, ancient religions and Christianity, methodological competences in the interpretation of religious sources, qualitative religious research and empirical social research on the curriculum. Specialization / specialization opportunities arise in areas such as European and non-European religious history, religious contemporary culture, museum presentation of religions, European ethnology / cultural studies, ethnology.
Students of theology deal, depending on the chosen doctrine, with scriptures, church history, systematics and practical theology. There are also different language modules. Subjects such as anthropology, ethics, metaphysics, psychology, dogmatic, moral theology, church law, liturgy, catechetic, religious education and pastoral theology also play a role. The degree program Islamic Theology also focuses on theoretical and empirical analyzes of Islam in Germany as well as on its reflection in the context of previous theological scientific traditions. The subject of Jewish theology is the Jewish religion in its historical and contemporary manifestations.

Possible careers after graduation

Graduates of philosophy and religious studies have limited employment opportunities outside of school and university. Possible activities include publishing and press activities, radio and television, libraries and archives, international organizations, consulting and expert offices, adult education and life coaching in the context of philosophical practices.

Religious educators are primarily active in regional church work, at supraregional level in church circles, at national churches, at deaneries and dioceses and as a religious teacher. Their areas of responsibility are there, e.g. youth and old-age work, pastoral care, adult education and the organization and implementation of children's and school services.

Theologians work predominantly as pastors (pastors), priests, pastoral officers, rabbis. On the one hand, graduates of Islamic theology educate young scientists in this field and on the other hand have career perspectives as specialists for theological, religious and pedagogical as well as pastoral activities in mosque communities.