Philosophy, Theology, Religious Education

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

The field of study at a glance

The perspectives in the individual courses of study are different: while philosophy deals, among other things, with the acquisition of knowledge by humans and questions of meaning, theology and religious studies explore various faiths empirically, historically and systematically. For theologians, the career path is usually quite clearly marked out, while philosophers and religious scholars find broader professional opportunities.

Philosophy is devoted entirely to the human being. It sheds light on his thinking and his position in the world, questions his actions and discusses his problems.

While the study of religious education qualifies students to work as teachers of religion in schools and in church congregations, religious studies deals with the origins, diversity and differences of religions from the past and present.

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

Course offered

In addition to the generalist philosophy course, specialized courses such as Philosophy & Economics, Applied Philosophy and Ancient Philosophy are offered. Religious education content is also taught under course titles such as community education and diakonia or practical theology. When it comes to religious studies, the choice is large: it ranges from interreligious studies, Christianity and culture to comparative cultural and religious studies. If you are interested in theology, you will usually find the desired course of study under this term - supplemented by the respective doctrine of faith.

Contents of the course

Sub-areas of philosophy studies include metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics and aesthetics. Connections to other subjects include legal, historical, social and linguistic philosophy.

The study of religious education includes, for example, modules on basic problems in religious studies, history of religion, empirical research on religion, religious education as well as literatures of religions and languages. In addition, Christian religious education imparts knowledge in the following areas: Biblical and systematic theology (dogmatics, ethics), religious studies, theology of religions and church history. In addition, there are pedagogy, psychosocial basics,

Sociology, media education, law, religious education, community education and church educational work.

The interdisciplinary and cultural studies-oriented bachelor's degree program in Religious Studies includes history of religion in a cultural studies context, inter- and transdisciplinary religious research, Judaism, Islam and Asian religions, ancient religions and Christianity, methodological skills in the interpretation of religious sources, qualitative religious research and empirical social research. There are opportunities for further study in areas such as European and non-European religious history, contemporary religious culture, museum presentation of religions, European ethnology/cultural studies and ethnology.

Depending on the doctrine they choose, theology students deal with holy scriptures, church history, and systematic and practical theology. There are also various language modules. Subjects such as anthropology, ethics, metaphysics, psychology, dogmatics, moral theology, canon law, liturgy, catechetics, religious education and pastoral theology also play a role. The Islamic Theology course also focuses on theoretical and empirical analyzes of Islam in Germany as well as on its reflection in the context of previous theological academic traditions. The subject of Jewish theology is the Jewish religion in its historical and current manifestations.

Career opportunities after graduation

For graduates of philosophy and religious studies, there are other employment opportunities outside of school and university, for example in publishing and the press, in radio and television, in libraries and archives, in international organizations, in advisory and expert offices, in Adult education as well as in the area of life coaching in the context of philosophical practices.

Religious educators work primarily in regional community work, at a supra-regional level in church districts, in regional churches, in deaneries and dioceses and as religious teachers. Your tasks there include, for example, youth and elderly work, pastoral care, adult education as well as the organization and implementation of children's and school services.

Theologians predominantly work as pastors, priests, pastoral advisors and rabbis. On the one hand, graduates of Islamic theology train young academics in this area and, on the other hand, have career prospects as specialists in theological, religious and community education as well as pastoral activities in mosque communities.