Field of research C "Criticism of religion and apologetics"

Field of research C investigates the dynamic character of religion through the tense relationship between criticism of religion and apologetics, which are phenomena that contradict the self-understanding of religions as providing values and ultimate justifications that underpin society and transcend history. Criticism of religion and apologetics thus contribute substantially to the changes that religions undergo.

It is above all internal criticism of religion that is able to change religions. However, this criticism often does not see itself as innovative, but instead often presents itself as a return to a lost or corrupted tradition. Conversely, apologetics by no means only preserves tradition, but can for its part unfold a dynamic that changes the tradition.

It is these complex relationships between religious tradition and innovation that the projects in this field of research in criticism of religion and apologetics mainly address. How religious communities deal with criticism of religion, and to what extent they themselves generate or allow criticism and make it their own – this says a lot about their ability to learn.

Coordination of field of research C:

Projects of field of research C