VICISU 2014 – General Information

The Summer University of 2014 lasted from 3 to 23 August 2014 and took place again at Stift Altenburg.

40 students from universities in 15 different European and non-European countries like Afghanistan, Egpyt, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Switzerland, Palestine, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Austria participated in VICISU 2014. The academic programme consisted of lectures and tutorials such as “Introduction to Islam”, “Introduction to Christianity”, “International Law and Human Rights”, “Religious Pluralism”, “Religion in Africa”, “Religion and the State”, “Islam and Human Rights”, “Religion and Politics” and “Building of Mosques and Churches in Christian and Muslim Countries”.

In addition, round tables and discussions took place in the evenings. Prof. Andreas Bsteh, the founder of the Summer University, recapitulated the beginnings of the interreligious dialogue initiatives in Austria. Father Michael, the Prior of the monastery andresponsible for guest relations, gave a guided tour through the Abbey of Altenburg and the Garden of the Religions. Marcus Kienl from the Austrian Foreign Ministry informed about the “Austrian Dialogue Forum Islam”, and Dr. Michael Lugger from the Islamic Religious Community in Austria presented the Austrian Islam Law of 1912 and current reform initiatives. On August 13, Abbot Thomas Renner and the community of the abbey of Altenburg invited all the participants of the Summer University as well as prominent guests from Vienna and Lower Austria to a celebratory summer reception.

The extracurricular programme of VICISU 2014 was complemented by an excursion to the abbey of Melk and a boat trip on the Danube, a visit to the castle of Rosenburg as well as a number of social events and sporting activities. Two highlights of the social program were the multicultural talent show and the intercultural dinner, where the participants performed dances and songs from their home countries and cooked traditional meals.

The last days of the Summer University took place in Vienna where the students received their certificates of participation by Vice-Rector Prof. Faßmann of the University of Vienna. They visited the city, including the main building of the University of Vienna and the United Nations, and were invited to a reception in the Vienna City Hall and a farewell party in a Viennese restaurant.

The Vienna International Christian-Islamic Summer University is organised by the University of Vienna and mainly funded by Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW). Additional sponsoring is provided by the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration, Foreign Affairs (BMeiA), the DKA Austria Catholic Children’s Movement, the Province of Lower Austria and the City of Vienna.

Please read our our magazine of VICISU 2014 with interesting articles of students, professors and supporters. For more information regarding the programme and the lecturers, please read our information folder.