research focus “Belief-Ethics-Organization”

In the context of the rapidly increasing pluralization of the modern societies, also from the ideological and religious perspective, the conventional concepts of social integration – religion, law, education and ethics – are put to the test. The “Organization” type of system – to which the achievements of individual orientation and of social integration are ascribed – is reinforced; at the same time the organizations obviously contribute to the whole social pluralization by means of their claim to self-control which is immanent to their system.

These circumstances are debated upon from the perspective of the Evangelical Theology and of the religious studies within the frames of the interdisciplinary research focus “Belief-Ethics-Organization” (Glaube-Ethik-Organisation - GEOrg).

Profile of GEOrg

GEOrg is an interdisciplinary research focus which has as main topic the interdependence between religious convictions, ethical reflection and organizational firmness: the interactive relationships between religions – especially Christianity – and social organizations are of great interest. The research relates both to specifically religious organizations like churches and new religious movements, and to non-religious organizations like economic enterprises, hospitals or schools.

The interdependence between belief, ethics and organization plays an essential role – according to specific cases – in the constituent disciplines of dogmatics and moral theology (especially ethics), of practical theology and religious pedagogy, of theology and church history, as well as of religious studies. However, the topic is relevant not only for the GEOrg members, but also for the collaborators of GEOrg representing the (religious) sociology, the psychology of religion, as well as the (ecclesiastical) law. Through the research focus the various academic disciplines gain a common perspective in content. As far as the methodology is concerned, a multidisciplinary connection results from various forms of the (historical, comparative and systematic) discourse analysis, as well as from methods employed by the qualitative social research.

Objectives of GEOrg

At research level, the interconnection between current projects and the already existing collaborations with national and international institutions is to be intensified. But above all, GEOrg’s main objective is to urge the clarification of the above outlined question and to improve the interdisciplinary methodology. Regular academic events, as well as research colloquia, summer schools and series of conferences serve this purpose.

GEOrg intends to especially contribute to the transdisciplinary range of courses for students: a doctoral course of studies with the subject “Religion and organization” will make scientific reflection of belief, ethics and organization available for the students. Thereby it is possible for undergraduate and graduate students to choose the focus either upon religious studies, or upon ethic and practical theology.