Summer School - Muslims in the West, 17–31 August 2016 , Germany

Publish Date: Mar 14, 2016

Deadline: Mar 30, 2016

Event Dates: from Aug 17, 2016 12:00 to Aug 31, 2016 12:00

Dialogue with Islam

Against the backdrop of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Chair of Muslim Cultural & Religious History at the University of Erfurt participated in the “Dialogue with Islam”, an academic program initiated by the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD). This program promotes university cooperation projects in which the intercultural dialogue with the Islamic world takes center stage. In doing so, the dialogue should be stimulated and sustainably strengthened by means of professional cooperation, based on common scientific interests.

Acceptance, Tolerance, Understanding

Debates on “Islam and the West” have always been a present part of the tradition of the Chair. The importance of a continuous dialogue has become even more obvious, as demonstrated by the different Islamist-driven terrorist attacks demonstrate that have occurred in recent years is not only in Europe and the United States but also in the Islamic world itself. With the initiation of the International Summer School “Muslims in the West” the Chair of Muslim Cultural & Religious History contributes to this “Dialogue with Islam”. Muslims from different countries and cultures (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Yemen) have participated in the last twelve years. Thus, the promotion of a direct dialogue between students and alumni has led to better mutual acceptance, tolerance, and understanding. Particularly against the background of the developments and upheavals in various Arab states (e.g. Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Syria, Tunisia) since 2010 (“Arab Spring”), the necessity to continued engagement in an interreligious and intercultural dialogue cannot be denied.

From Curiosity and Interest…

Right from the start, the Summer School has been a very successful vehicle not only in strengthening the dialogue but also in increasing the positive international reputation of the University of Erfurt. So far, more than 150 students have taken part in this Summer School and many, many more have shown interest in participating fruitfully in the ongoing process of mutual understanding between “Islam” and the “West”.

…to Friendship and Cooperation

A considerable number of Muslim immigrants in Europe, especially in Great Britain and France, come from countries in South Asia – in particular from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – and from North Africa. The importance of these regions is further acclaimed by the fact that a very large percentage of the world’s Muslim population is concentrated in these regions. Therefore, it is the goal of the Summer School to deepen both the personal and the academic contacts between young scholars from Europe and the Muslim world.

Application Procedure Summer School "Muslims in the West"

Call for Applications

Attention: The deadline for submitting international applications expires on 30 March 2016. Students of the University of Erfurt can take part in the Summer School via several modules/study subjects (see our and university calendar).


The Chair of Muslim Cultural & Religious History at the University of Erfurt is pleased to announce the 15th International Summer School MUSLIMS IN THE WEST, which will take place from 17–31 August 2016 at the University of Erfurt.

Fifteen young scholars from countries with significant Muslim populations will participate in this cultural encounter together with students from the University of Erfurt.

Ever since its involvement in the academic activity, “Dialogue with Islam”, initiated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in 2002, the University of Erfurt has been actively engaged in the increasingly socio-politically relevant debates on “Islam and the West”. In this context, the Summer School, financially supported by the DAAD, contributes to fostering mutual respect and understanding. Besides the creation and consolidation of a permanent basis for dialogue, the goal of the project is to provide the opportunity to directly experience the pluralistic structure of Islam in the European context and to point out the well-advanced mutual interweaving, not only between Muslims and non-Muslims but also among Muslims themselves.

The Summer School will focus on four topics: It will start with an analysis of historical encounters and mutual perceptions between Muslims and “Christian Europe”. The second topical complex will deal with the European Union, its structures, goals, and proclaimed values. Particular emphasis will be laid on the role of religion in the self-perception of the EU and its positioning vis-à-vis Islam. The third part will be devoted to the presence of Muslims in the public sphere in areas of education, law, and political participation with a focus on the image of Islam in mass media and its development. The interaction between state and majority populations will be discussed on the basis of selected case studies (Germany, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the US). Finally, the last topical complex will approach the relationship between religion and peace.

The educational part of the Summer School will be accompanied by a rich cultural program including excursions to Weimar and Berlin. Please visit our homepage for regularly updated schedules and further information.

Participants will receive a grant covering a part of their travel and accommodation expenses. Besides a careful reading of selected texts in advance, each participant is expected to actively take part in and contribute to the workshops. The working language is English. Applicants must be under the age of 27 and must have graduated with a BA prior to the start of the Summer School.

To begin the application process, please fill out and submit the application form (it requires your CV and a 400-word statement of motivation). All application documents should be submitted in English and must be received no later than 30 March 2016. You can find the answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Summer School conditions here

Once the selection process is complete, the chosen participants will be given further instructions. 

If you have any questions not answered infrequently asked questions, please contact Muslims-in-the-west(at)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the Summer School?

To begin the application process, please fill out and submit the application form (it requires your CV and a 400-word statement of motivation). All application documents should be submitted in English.

The application deadline is 30 March 2016. Once the selection process is complete, the chosen participants will be given further instructions. 

Students of the University of Erfurt can find information regarding their registration in the Summer School on our homepage.
What is expected from successful applicants?

You are expected to participate in all activities offered in the program, including lectures, student workshops, and excursions. We will provide you with literature that you will ideally go through before the start of the Summer School and encourage you to further research relevant topics.

What are the student workshops mentioned in the program?
There will be group presentations on various topics regarding the theme of Muslims in the West. You will receive relevant literature for both the lectures and the presentations before the Summer School.

How much and what will the DAAD grant cover?
The grant will cover about 75% of your actual travel expenses (flights, train tickets). Additionally, there is a 220 Euro stipend for your stay in Erfurt. You could use it to cover the costs of your meals.

Please note that you will receive the grant and stipend upon arrival in Erfurt.

Will I need to book my flights to and from Erfurt myself?
Yes, but students from the same countries can coordinate their flights and travel together.

Do I need to take out an insurance policy?
No, you will be insured through the DAAD. It is combined insurance including health, accident, and personal liability insurance.

Where will I stay?
Accommodation ranging from 1 to 4 bedroom apartments is provided on campus. You will not have to pay for accommodation, it is included in the Summer School.

Accommodation on campus is available ONLY from 16.08 to 01.09.2016.

How will I get around in Erfurt?
You will receive a ticket to use public transport (bus, tram) in the city of Erfurt for the duration of the Summer School.

Will I have to pay for the excursions to Berlin and Weimar?
No, the excursions to Berlin and Weimar (including transportation, accommodation, and entrance tickets) are free for the international participants. You may only need to pay for your own food.

Where can I eat?
There is the possibility to eat at the University’s restaurant on campus and receive a student discount. You may also use the kitchens in your apartments. Several grocery stores can be found nearby.

I am a student at the University of Erfurt. Can I earn credits through ELVIS by attending the Summer School?
Yes, you can take the Summer School as a course for the following programs:

B and B.A. Studium Fundamentale
B and B.A. Religionswissenschaft
M Literaturwissenschaft
M and M.A Religionswissenschaft
M.Theol. Katholische Theologie

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