Verbum et Ecclesia
versão On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versão impressa ISSN 1609-9982
VROOM, H. A theological faculty as a house with many rooms: On the institutionalisation of theology in a pluralistic, secular society. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2008, vol.29, n.2, pp.562-585. ISSN 2074-7705.
Religious pluralism is changing the Western world. The transmission of Christian faith is less a matter of course than it has been. People are free to form their own opinions and 'choose' their way of life. Because pluralism affects the basic values of society that have to be supported by world view traditions, religious pluralism is one of the main political problems of the 'secular' state as well. Faculties of Theology can be organised better as apartments buildings for religions with common rooms, exchange and debates, instead of gradually becoming departments of descriptive religious studies. A public inter-religious dialogue on values and political issues will be supported by such an institution, and prevent accountability for views of life to disappear from the public arena into privacy and hidden places. Students can be educated in plural theological faculties of universities that reflect societal realities, in an atmosphere of respect, integrity, dialogue and accountability. The first section of this contribution describes the changing situation in the European (EU) culture; the second the consequences of pluralism for churches; the third the crisis of traditional theology; and the fourth points out the perspective of a plural but confessional institutionalisation of theology/ies.