The European Commission has awarded an Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters grant, worth €4.8 million to the two-year international Master's programme Religious Diversity in a Globalised World (ReD Global) of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. ‘Teamwork was the key to our success in “winning” this grant and I am incredibly excited that our ReD Global will be funded during the coming six years,’ says Professor Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, coordinator of the project.
Religious Diversity in a Globalised World (period 2022-2028) is a two-year international Master’s degree with a unique focus on the role of religious identities and diversity and their complex interplay with processes of globalisation. The increasing heterogeneity of societies has strained democracies across the globe, throwing issues of religious prejudice and intolerance, often born of ignorance, into the public limelight. Within that context, ReD Global contributes to the urgent need for greater religious literacy and understanding. Graduates of this international and interdisciplinary degree programme will have a solid historical and theoretical foundation, coupled with the ability to perceive continuity across time and space, enabling them to efficiently and effectively address modern-day societal challenges.
Prof. Roig Lanzillotta explains: ‘The original idea was to create an international Master’s programme that might help us enhance the impact of the Master’s track on Religion and Pluralism, Ancient and Modern, organized under the Department of Jewish, Christian and Islamic Origins. International collaboration could help us to expand the scope of the Master’s programme, enriching it not only with new approaches, but also with global perspectives about diversity and religious and other perspectives. I spent four years travelling around looking for enthusiastic academic and non-academic partners who wanted to join us in this enterprise.’
He continues: ‘After many meetings and conversations, the partners were established: the universities of Córdoba (Spain) and Coimbra (Portugal) will be our core European partners; the universities of Guanajuato and UNAM (Mexico), the University of Brasilia (Brazil), the Universidad del Salvador (Argentina), the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and the University of Bern (Switzerland) will be our academic associated partners.’ Prof. Roig Lanzillotta explains that consortium provides a unique opportunity ‘to approach religious diversity from a multidisciplinary angle: historical, philosophical, psychological, sociological and political perspectives are combined in the analysis of public administration and private approaches to diversity. In addition, the support of more than twenty non-academic associated partners, such as NGOs, foundations, and institutions, will help us to develop internship positions for students to gain experience regarding diversity in practice. We can now offer a solid programme with a view to enhancing the religious literacy of students around the world, making them aware of the importance of the religious factor behind numerous cultural, psychological, social, and political processes, both in modern and historical societies.’
Erin Wilson, Professor of Politics and Religion as well as Vice Dean and Director of Education at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, feels pleased with and proud of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters grant: ‘We as a team were really proud of the curriculum we put together and it’s really wonderful that the European Commission has recognized that it is a great programme as well, by awarding the grant.’ Prof. Roig Lanzillotta adds: ‘This success was only possible thanks to the unconditional support of the Faculty Board and the close and inspiring collaboration with great colleagues from the Faculty: Erin Wilson, Sipco Vellenga, Debbie van den Berg and Mike Nike Windmüller, and from International Strategy and Relations: Joyce Fongers. Teamwork was the key to our success in “winning” this grant, and teamwork will be crucial to achieve the goals set for this ambitious international Master’s programme. I look forward to developing our ReD Global further with the colleagues of the ReD Global Consortium and our team at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.’
For more information, see ReD Global’s website or contact Prof. Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta.
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