The Courant Research Centre EDRIS is devoted to the comprehensive study of educational concepts and their interaction with different religious beliefs in Greco-Roman, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic culture from the first to the thirteenth centuries CE. Accordingly, this research provides valuable insight into a period and a geographic area of fundamental importance for the rise and growth of both »Western« and »Islamic« civilizations. Each of those may be defined as an interpreter and a continuer of Hellenism.
Besides theories and institutions of education, the systematic and multidisciplinary analysis also comprises the role of Holy Scriptures and that of learned personalities and scholars in imparting education. Thus, these combined cultural, religious and historical perspectives will enable a deeper understanding of the constitution and transformation of educational traditions in their religious and societal dimensions.
The Edris Research Centre provides the basis for the interdisciplinary collaborative work of three junior research groups on various levels. These groups will focus on three closely interconnected areas of study that are defined both culturally and chronologically. They are:
- 1.Piety and Paideia: Religious Traditions and Intellectual Culture in the World of the Roman Empire (from the first to the fourth century CE).
- 2.Education at the Crossroads: Pagan, Jewish, and Christian Discourses in Late Antiquity (from the fourth to the ninth century CE).
- 3.Revelation, Reason, and Identity: Education in Early and Classical Islam (from the seventh to the thirteenth century CE).
In addition, the three research groups will be linked by a set of such major thematic questions as:
- a) What concepts of knowledge and educational practices evolved from and determined exegesis and teaching scripture?
- b) What role did historical writing play in the formation of educational traditions and religious identities?
- c) What theories of education were significant at the time?
- d) What impact did individual authorities and/or institutions have on education and religion in the cultures and civilizations under discussion?
The research at the CRC EDRIS will not only contribute to the contemporary discussion about »education and religion« in our modern and culturally diverse societies, but to the current debates on a potential »clash of civilizations« as well. Moreover, it will foster a better understanding of the cultural and intellectual developments in the Western and Islamic world during their shared past.
The languages of communication at the Centre are English and German.