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The Institute of Systematic Theology and Liturgical Studies comprises three theological areas: Dogmatics, Fundamental Theology and Liturgical Studies.

Dogmatics explores the Christian faith and what it comprises. An intellectual penetration of the Christian faith takes place using a systematic synopsis of findings resulting from intra- and interdisciplinary as well as interreligious dialogue.

Fundamental Theology applies reason to shed light on the Christian faith and rationally justify it. Communicating a faith’s rational responsibility is vital, especially in view of the current situation of religion, Christianity and the Church. Secularisation processes are resulting in religion, especially Christianity, becoming less important to people and subject to continuous questioning. We can no longer overlook the established churches’ considerable loss of image. Fundamental theology attempts to provide rational reasons for the importance of faith and the Church in a critically sensitive way.

Liturgical Studies explores the life of worship rooted in Christian faith traditions in the following dimensions: historical, practical-theological and systematic. The department’s primary focus is the theological and cultural significance of the manifestation of faith in actual worship celebrations.

There are also two interdisciplinary research areas established at the Institute:

Art and Media in Theological Discourse

Since 1990, the relationship between art, media and religion has constituted a core research area of systematic theology at the Faculty of Theology in Graz. The understanding that the potential for human creativity, manifesting itself in the most diverse works and art projects, not only gaining importance in its (historically significant) use for propagation, but also as a completely independent and essential dialogue partner, has profoundly changed the relationship between art and theology in the 20th century. Nowadays, adopting the most unbiased approach possible to this field and its manifestations – by all means also in the commercial entertainment business – provides an important stimulus for thinking about the role of fundamental theological questions in a secular society.

Dialogue of the Theologies

The area of research of the Dialogue of the Theologies deals with the actual encounter of Catholic theologians with scholars of the theologies of other religions, especially – but not exclusively – of the monotheistic traditions. Engaging in dialogue with the religiously and/or culturally different is understood as a new kind of theology-generative process that seeks to openly seize the opportunities and challenges of globalised and pluralised societies. This dialogue can also contribute to achieving a peaceful coexistence of different traditions in both theory and practice. The various collaborations occur in a deliberately interdisciplinary setting, where they aim to appropriately do justice to the complexity of the phenomena and dialogue processes.

These research areas are dedicated to carrying out interdisciplinary theological tasks and projects in connection with the faculty research focus on “Theology in the Contexts of the Present”. These areas also offer high-profile platforms in terms of content and diverse opportunities for collaboration.

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