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The program "Cohesion through Conflict" addresses religions as relevant forces of cultural and normative (self-) understanding. Religions inspire by giving space to experiences of transcendence and expectations of meaning. They irritate as their peculiarity has a formative effect on society and they stimulate new perspectives on public concerns. They unfold their productive potential when they release interpretive resources and provide orientation in secular societies. 


Against this backdrop, we promote a reflective and open conversation of religious actors and their secular environment that explicitly acknowledges rifts and conflicts. An important reason for this discussion is the growing diversity of religious and ideological views. In light of this development, the program serves as a communication-oriented negotiation over contradictory interpretations of the good life, identity-forming claims of faith, and demands for participation in faith-related policies. Conflict is supposed to become productive as a medium of cohesion. This requires cultivating the ability to have competent debates at the intersections of religion, society, and politics. The goal is peaceful social coexistence. 


The "secular age" is accompanied by a rediscovery of religious identity constructions, figures of thought, and impulses for action. This is associated with social tensions. A key to transforming them productively lies in a deeper engagement with religious traditions. That is why interfaith agents are needed who can recognize and solve religious problems related to everyday life. Aware of the impasses and lasting conflicts within interreligious dialogue, we create discussion formats to address prejudices. Understanding grows out of work on shared socio-political challenges in our secular-plural world. The diversity of religious references to the self, the world, and God represents a promise; it can sharpen the view and the acceptance of social differences - and thus strengthen democratic culture. 

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