IRC Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies

International Summer School for Bachelor and Master Students

Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies – Rituals, Rhetorics, Regulations   

21 - 25 August 2023, Bern, Switzerland
Organized by the IFK Religious Conflicts and Coping Strategies

Albert Anker, "Die Kappeler Milchsuppe / The milk soup of Kappel"
The "Kappeler Milchsuppe" has become a symbol in Switzerland for the peaceful coping with a religious conflict. It has been chronically handed down that in 1529 members of the opposing Reformed and Catholic armies ate together during political negotiations near the village of Kappel.

Many conflicts, present and past, are perceived and problematized as religious. To date no model for the analysis of religiously connoted conflicts and associated coping strategies has been established which goes beyond the boundaries of individual disciplines or which maps out and explains the complexity of the phenomena. Conflicts involving religion often intensify, elude resolution, or lose their constructive and socializing potential, because strong emotional, factual, and interpretive aspects are interwoven. Established strategies of conflict resolution therefore often reach their limits in such conflicts. This Summer School offers an opportunity to explore a novel approach based on the concept of coping with conflicts which has the advantage of focusing on the process rather than on the resolution. Through problem-based case studies and interdisciplinary learning, the students will learn to use a new analytical model which outlines the various economic, political, social, cultural, and psychological factors which contribute to religious conflicts and their respective relationships to religious convictions, motivations, and protagonists. We will explore several coping strategies for religious conflicts along the lines of three basic concepts: rituals, rhetorics, and regulations. The summer school comprises keynote lectures held by high-profile researchers, workshops to train and sharpen students’ competence with coping strategies, a workshop on intercultural learning, and a final one-day seminar with presentations by researchers and students.