Muslims account for five percent of Germany’s population, which is one reason why there is growing academic and political support for offering courses in Islamic studies at German schools and universities. With the aim of promoting training of young scholars in this field, Stiftung Mercator has joined forces with seven universities in Germany to launch a postgraduate programme in Islamic theology (GKIT).
The objective is to support the training of Islamic religion teachers and imams in Germany, not least with a view to achieving equal treatment of Muslims at all levels of German society. Young scholars will be educated at various universities. The idea is to address the shortage of young scholars trained in Islamic theology in Germany. In the medium term, the programme should contribute to ensuring appropriate representation of Muslims in academia, schools and the public sphere.
GKIT is a multicentre programme involving the following universities:
Seven postgraduates began a PhD course in the autumn of 2011, with a further six joining the programme a year later. Since April 2013, all 16 PhD places on the Postgraduate Programme in Islamic Theology have been filled. In addition, lectures and seminars are regularly given by visiting scholars from abroad. The programme is coordinated by the University of Münster.
The programme of study at the individual universities is supplemented by regular seminars and conferences held at various locations, giving participants the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences on an interdisciplinary level. As a rule, the postgraduates complete the programme within three years, while at the same time working on a dissertation in one of the GKIT’s core academic fields.
The programme focuses among other things on