Education requires communication: teachers communicate education to individuals willing to learn, or to persons predestined for education on social or religious grounds. In pre-modern times, this took place in institutions with different degrees of organization (like families, open communities, schools or literary traditions) and was carried out by a wide variety of agents, teachers as well as students. How men and women participated in acquiring and communicating religious education is of special interest. This also raises the question of what religious education or the acquisition of religious knowledge was aiming at. The observation of educational processes in society and religion prompted contemporary reflections on pedagogy that might have also been adapted later.
Enlightened Men – Superstitious Women? Religion, Education and Stereotypes of Gender in Classical Athens
The project investigates the intermediaries, processes of mediation and recipients of religious education in classical Athens (5th/4th century B.C.), paying particular attention to gender issues. It examines male and female agents, places and social contexts of religious education in a polytheistic culture. The question of “right” and “wrong” (possibly even criminalized) forms and contents of religious education for men and women brings to the fore the fundamental relationship between education and religion in Ancient Greece as well as their importance for the functioning of the Greek polis.
The Ancients in Mind: Religious and Antiquarian Transfer of Knowledge in the Educational Compendia of the Second Century CE
Starting from an exemplary analysis of three educational miscellanies from the second century A.D. (Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae et Graecae; Gellius, Noctes Atticae; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae), the project focuses on aspects of religion as addressed and discussed in the overall context of each of these works. Taking into account the didactic intentions these compendia pursue, the communicative strategies they employ and the imagined spatial and situational settings they introduce, the project focuses in particular on the marked antiquarian interest, with which these works draw on `the cultural heritage of ancient religion´ throughout.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Peter Gemeinhardt
Research Fellows: Dr. Maria Louise Munkholt Christensen, Olga Lorgeoux (associated), Nicolas Anders, Lina Hantel
Communication of Education in Late Antique Christianity: Teachers’ Roles in Parish, Family and Ascetical Community
The sub-project focuses on Christian teachers (male and female) in Late Antiquity in different contexts: the catechumenate (bishops and catechetical teachers), the family (particularly women) and the eremitic movement (teachers with charismatic instead of formal authorization). The shape of teachers’ roles will be investigated as well as their interaction and possible conflicts between ecclesiastical and – so to speak – independent communicators of religious education. Finally, the limits of human agency in communicating the faith will be dealt with.
Church History, Religious Education
Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Peter Gemeinhardt, Prof. Dr. Bernd Schröder
Research Fellows: Christoph Birkner, Elisabeth Hohensee, Olga Lorgeoux (associated), Lena Moritz
The Christian Catechumenate from Late Antiquity to Early Medieval Times and Its Reception in Modern Pedagogics of Religion
The sub-project which will be jointly carried out by scholars of Church History and Pedagogics of Religion intends a) to collect and interpret patristic and early medieval sources for the so-called catechumenate (concentrating upon the 4th to 7th centuries) and b) to investigate the reception of the ancient catechumenate in Catechetics and Religious Education in the 19th and 20th centuries. It focuses thus a) on the development of the catechumenate in terms of an educational process and its importance for theology and congregational practice in patristic times and b) on the modes of reception and the impact of historical knowledge of the catechumenate in modern religious educational thought.
Research Fellow: Dr. Elisabetta Abate
Emotions in the Mishnah
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Marc Hirshman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Melton Centre for Jewish Education
Educational Practices in Rabbinic Literature