"Learn to live together – not against each other!"

Annual Conference 2015 Interreligious Conference of
European Women Theologians, IKETH 16 – 19 April, 2015,
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Haus Berlin, Deutschland

„Living together“ is a lifelong learning process as cultural concepts and religious expressions are fluid and multilayered, responding to social, economic and political developments and change. Amira Hafner-Al Jabaji, president of the Interreligious ThinkTank, Switzerland  emphasized that learning happens at various levels and its most important goal may be to create trust between  the members of the learning community. Kantor Jalda Rebling, spiritual leader of the Ohel Hachidusch community, Berlin  invited to re/discover common spiritual spaces such as music and liturgical singing, but also proposed to explore  new ones: How about an interreligious  garden of Abraham?

Convivencia is essentially about sharing and shaping everyday life, traditionally the domain of women but characterized by a low theory level. Liturgy professor Brigitte Enzner-Probst pleaded to continue developing a „hermeneutics of everyday life“ that would reflect experiences at the borders of  religious institutions.

A special feature were the inputs of participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovakia and Moldavia, who lectured on the interreligious situation in  their respective countries, demonstrating that interreligious issues have a long tradition in Europe, spanning from the flourishing  encounter of cultures in Al-Andalus to the relentless persecution and murder of Jewish communities in many parts of Europe.

Conference participants visited the Turkish Sehitlik mosque and its newly opened cultural centre; they participated in the Sabbath Evening service in the synagogue Oranienburgerstrasse, where they were welcomed by Rabbi Gesa Ederberg. They visited the Memorial church in Plötzensee which features the images of Alfred Hrdlicka’s „Dance of Death“ co-memorating  the thousands of  persons resisting the Hitler regime who were executed in the nearby execution prison Plötzensee. Pastor Michael Maillard also spoke about the engagement of the parish in a neighbourhood where many migrants live and work.

The conference closed with a visit to Marienkirche, participating in the Sunday service of this oldest church of Berlin, and then meeting with Pastor Haussmann and a team from the House of One, an important initiative of Christian, Jewish and Muslim persons and institutions. Their aim is to create a room for worship where the three religions can be under one roof. They would worship in their separate spaces, a synagogue, a mosque and a church, but would share a central space,  which would be filled together.

IKETH president Reinhild Traitler and Board members Naida Huskanovic and Susanne Wolf welcomed Daniela di Mauro/Italy-Geneva and Sara Rajic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) as new members of IKETH.

Report from the conference 2015 >> 
Photos from the conference 2014 >>
Photos from the conference 2012 >> 
Photos from the conference 2011 >> 
The lecture of Rebecca Masterton 2010 >>