In the last two decades, German political debate on religious issues or religiously influenced issues has found different shapes. Whether the debate on religious circumcision, the juridical question on recognising Muslim communities or the parliamentary committee of enquiry on "So-called Sects and Psycho Cults", the field of politics of religion has emerged last but not least because of the growing visibility of different religious creeds and non-religious worldviews in German society.
In winter term 2017-18 CERES will offer a course on politics of religion (Religionspolitik) for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. One of the most distinguished political experts on this field, MP Volker Beck (Alliance 90/The Greens), will teach the course.
He became widely known in public as MP for his persistent advocacy for LGTB rights and his support for same sex marriages. It was him, who was applauded with a confetti rain in the Bundestag by his fellow party members on the day, when German parliament approved same sex marriage. Since 1994 he has been a MP. He served as a spokesperson for human rights and as a Chief Whip. For the last four years he has been the spokesperson of the Green Party’s parliamentary group for interior affairs/migration and religion.
CERES is pleased to welcome Volker Beck in the position of an associated lecturer. His course will especially focus on the practical dimension of politics of religion. "His longtime political expertise in politics of religion persuaded us to invite him to give a course", CERES director Prof Volkhard Krech says. "He will interoduce students the practical world of politics of religion: Who are the stakeholders and lobby groups? How does the law regulate religions? Which issues have to be dealt with on the national level, which on the level of states? Part of the study programmes of CERES is to give students insights into possible future jobs. Thus, knowing something about politics of religion is absolutly necessary if you want to work in public administration or communities".