Theme: The Religious Roots of Europe (RRE)

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Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Christianity, Judaism and Islam interacting with each other have had a profound influence on the development of European culture and society. For centuries Christianity has been the dominant majority religion; as minority religions, Judaism and Islam have been seen as the ‘other’ against which Christian European identity has been shaped.

The three religions have traditionally been studied more or less separately. The aspiration of the RRE is to study the three religions together in their formative periods from a comparative perspective and using a variety of approaches including historical, philological, social scientific and literary.

Doctrines, rituals, canonical texts, myths and religious institutions

Religious phenomena central to all three traditions, such as doctrines, rituals, canonical texts, myths and religious institutions are studied along with the relationship of the three religions to society, politics, law and ethics. Other topics that may be studied during the Programme include ideas of martyrdom, justification or condemnation of war, asceticism, religious authorities, gender issues and different strategies for interpreting authoritative religious texts.

These and similar issues are studied using different approaches, including those drawn from history, anthropology, the social sciences, literature, and philology.