Prof. H.M. Vroom from the Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam visited this week
For those who are interested in new developments in theology regarding
consciousness, creation theory and inter-religioius dialogue, will find his
material extremely valuable. A topic that he also shared related to how the
university at which he serves is making headway in the recent introduction
of Islamic theology in their faculty. They resisted forming a seperate
faculty and also did not allow themselves to merely teach Islamology.
Many university theology-faculties have moved along the "religious-studies"
route and are finding it difficult to keep head above water.
An interesting comment about the Free University-approach was made in that
Christian-theology students are now, more than ever, "forced" into a
position where they have to stand-up for what they believe in. This is not
done in an apologetic- or militant manner, but in their conversations with
students with different religious backgrounds, they have to sharpen what
they believe in if they want to engage meaningfully regarding issues where
other beliefs portary a greater certainty or confidence i.e. the doctrine of
By going down this path, religious relativism is avoided and an atmosphere
of serious, but respectful inter-religious dialogue is ensured. Staff from
the different religious communities are also asked to share offices, and so,
the dialogue continues even in the tea-rooms.
Nobody can "talk about us without us". Perhaps we should consider this model
in shaping our theological faculties?