How do Christians feel about atheists?

Main topic 2018/2019: About atheism in Christianity

In our society we experience the coexistence of religion and atheism. But belief and its controversy have always belonged together: Atheism has to deal with the religion or the beliefs that it contests. And for the believer, atheism can have a critical function. It is therefore worthwhile to shed light on the relationship between the two positions, which are only mutually exclusive at first glance, and to deal with the arguments of unbelief as well as the good reasons for believing.
In this series of seminars, however, the focus is not on atheism in general, but on forms of atheism that can be found in Christianity, question it critically and break it open from within. Different variants of Christian atheism are examined, their argumentative strengths and weaknesses are explored and their "religious power" (P. Ricoeur) with regard to Christianity on the one hand and the thesis of "atheism in Christianity" (E. Bloch) on the other hand are discussed. Even Christian mysticism (e.g. Meister Eckhart, Teresa von Avila, S. Weil) confronts godlessness in a particularly radical way. In addition, the Christian faith has repeatedly encouraged philosophers to look for God beyond the classical theistic ideas, which has often brought them the accusation of atheism (e.g. de Spinoza, J. G. Fichte). And even atheistic philosophy, as long as it does not completely block metaphysical questions, can make a decisive contribution to determining the relationship between immanence and transcendence. The field of discussion extends from the emphasis on the "deep this-sidedness of Christianity" (D. Bonhoeffer; D. Sölle) to the question of whether Christianity is still a religion in the strict sense (e.g. J.-L. Nancy).
Dealing with the atheistic unfolding within Christian belief and thought can contribute to the fact that the classic categories of belief / unbelief, rational / irrational, theism / atheism are discussed anew in order to enable a contemporary, truthful and meaningful speech about God and at the same time to understand the arguments and facets of not being able to believe (anymore).

Topics of this seminar:
- What is atheism?
- "New" and old atheism
- Atheism and ecclesiastical teaching
- Atheism between rejection and enlightenment of the Christian faith

Dr. theol. Fana Schiefen M.A., Wiss. Assistant at the seminar for basic philosophical questions in theology (Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Müller) at Kath.-Theol. Faculty of the University of Münster. She did her PhD in 2017 with Prof. em. Dr. Jürgen Werbick (fundamental theology) in Münster.

Participation fee per person:
- Including meals and accommodation: Single 119 / Double 112 (93.50 / 90) €
- Including meals, without accommodation: € 96 (82)

The fees for participants who can take advantage of discounts are in brackets. Reductions are provided for: those in initial training and students (up to the age of 35), federal volunteers, recipients of unemployment benefits (I and II) and social assistance.

Partial services that are not used cannot be deducted because the calculations are based on a flat rate.

Failure costs:
- in the event of cancellation 13 to 2 days before the start of the event: 50%
- in the event of later withdrawal / non-participation / premature termination of participation: 100%

Cancellations are only to be addressed to the responsible conference secretariat and must be made in writing.

Basic questions of theology

The seminar series poses basic questions of theology from a systematic perspective. Systematic theology is about demonstrating the truth of Christian doctrine and justifying Christian belief. In view of a plurality of lifeworlds and offerings of meaning, Christians are challenged again and again not only to understand with the heart the contents given and given up in faith, but also to demonstrate their credibility by means of the universal medium of reason and to justify them to themselves and to others. This challenge of faith raises existential questions about our own identity and way of life, our hopes and values. It can question what is taken for granted and encourage rethinking and thinking further.
The series provides insights into the most varied of approaches in current theological and (religious) philosophical debates. It invites you to discover how outstanding thinkers in their time asked and answered the basic questions about human existence, the world and God in new and different ways. Guided by keynote speeches and text reading, basic questions of theology are to be reflected upon, discussed and brought into conversation with one's own questions of faith.
An overarching main topic allows intensive discussion over a longer period of time. Participation in individual, separate theme weekends is also possible.