Master Class 2022

About the Master Class

The IN//RCSD Master Class “Development Paradigm in Conversation – Master Class on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development” takes place at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa, Pietermaritzburg Campus) from 08 August 2022 to 19 August 2022.

The DAAD funded IN//RCSD Master Class is be carried out together by the Research Programme on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), in cooperation with other international partners within the framework of the International Network on Religious Communities and Sustainable Development (IN//RCSD). The Master Class is aimed at Master's students and doctoral candidates who are dealing with the field of religion and sustainable development in their respective studies and research. The IN//RCSD Master Class follows the research–based learning methodology, where students will receive hands-on research practice in the field of religion and development.

The objective of the IN//RCSD Master Class is the theoretical and methodological qualification of Master’s students and doctoral candidates in the subject area of religion and sustainable development, which has so far found its way into the curricula of only a few universities. The thematic focus of the Master Class Development Paradigms in Conversation arises from a fundamental research desideratum. It has been criticised that the field of religion and sustainable development is strongly influenced by a functional approach due to its direct interest in politics and practice (Fountain 2013; Jones & Petersen 2011; van Wensween 2011). Thus, it is rarely examined how religious communities contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and can be considered as partners of international development policy in this context. So far, less attention has been paid to the development ideas of religious communities (especially those in the Global South) and how they relate to the internationally dominant, secular development ideas such as the SDGs and pose critical questions to the Western development model.

The IN//RCSD Master Class will therefore focus on different ideas of development and aims to bring them into dialogue with each other and to relate them to the research field of religion and sustainable development. The IN//RCSD Master Class is divided into the following interlinked modules. M1: Specialized Course; M2: Methods Course; M3: Research Groups and PhD Colloquium; M4: Study and Research Location Germany; M5: Advanced PhD Course. In M1, participants receive excellent teaching by internationally renowned lecturers from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, University of KwaZulu-Natal and international partners (accompanied by thematic excursions). In M2, participants receive an advanced course in qualitative research methods. In M3, Master’s students conduct their own (small) empirical research projects in intercultural and interdisciplinary research teams (Research Groups, M3a); doctoral students discuss their respective research projects in a colloquium (M3b). The research groups (3-4 participants each) and the PhD colloquium are each supervised by the lecturers. In M4, the opportunities for study and research in Germany at undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral level are presented. M5: In the second week, the doctoral students take part in a special PhD Advanced Course focusing on the academic career during and after the doctorate. During that time the Master’s students will be working on their own empirical research projects.


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