PRONET² Project P34: Representation of Sexualized Violence in Bible and Religious Education

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Study profile "Talking about sexualized violence in (religious) education".

Dear students,
Taboo is a central characteristic in dealing with sexualized violence. Silence has a system - it is complex and encompasses the most diverse areas of life and action. There are pillars that give it support. Silence promotes the perpetuation of sexualized violence, especially in close social relationships and within institutions such as schools, sports clubs or churches. But: Talking about violence is not easy. Competencies that are necessary for a sustainable, continuous confrontation often have to be learned first.
We would like to draw your attention to the study profile "From se­ xua ­li­ sier ­ter Ge­ walt im (Re­li­ gi ­ons)Un­ter­richt re­den", which offers you a systematic development of competencies in view of the complex of topics of sexualized violence.

The aim of the study profile is a competence-oriented training of teachers of religion on the topic of sexualized violence in religious education. In doing so, we choose an approach that understands working with biblical texts on this topic as a learning opportunity. Reflecting on this topic promotes responsible action in school and the classroom, and beyond that in other areas of society. This includes within theology and its disciplines (especially biblical studies and religious education):

  • The communication of well-founded scientific knowledge regarding sexualized violence under the conditions of school and teaching in the teacher training program or in the BA program with a minor in Catholic/evangelical religion;
  • the practice of professional speaking about sexualized violence in religious education;
  • the ability to deal responsibly and creatively-correlatively with biblical texts that depict (sexually) violent situations;
  • the possibility of a reflective-innovative practical orientation by interweaving the different phases of training (e.g. further training for teachers);
  • the promotion of a profession-oriented competence profile of teachers of religion as a basic qualification for school and teaching.

A study profile offers students the opportunity to focus on a specific subject area within their regular studies on a voluntary and self-responsible basis. It serves to build a personal profile and can possibly mean a hiring advantage when applying to schools. The courses of the planned study profile are to be taken by L2, L3 and L4 students as part of their regular studies. The courses are not sequenced in terms of content and time. They can be attended in parallel or consecutively. The only additional effort is the final performance in the form of a portfolio, which refers to all three attended courses.

The study profile may be taken by students enrolled in a teaching degree program in Catholic/Evangelical Religion (L2-L4) or in the BA minor in Catholic/Evangelical Religion as part of their degree program.

The study profile includes three courses: two compulsory basic courses (biblical studies/religious education) and one elective course (biblical studies, systematics, church history or also from a non-theological subject at the university). Within the compulsory course "Texts of Terror - Biblical Didactic and Religious Pedagogical Reflections on the Old Testament Narrative of Sexualized Violence", religious pedagogical, biblical scientific and biblical didactic perspectives are placed in an interdisciplinary and above all gender- and violence-sensitive context. The courses that can be credited to the study profile are specifically identified on the Institute's homepage or in the course catalog. Upon successful completion of the study profile, students will receive a certificate ("Zertifikat").

Retroactive recognition of courses is possible in individual cases. Please contact us in this regard.

The study profile was developed within the framework of the PRONET2 sub-project P34 "Representation of Sexualized Violence in the Bible and Religious Education", accompanied by research and further development. Completed achievements remain valid in any case.

If you are interested in the study profile or would like more information, please feel free to contact our contact person for the study profile Theresa Michel-Heldt.

We appreciate your interest.

Best regards
Ilse Müllner & Annegret Reese-Schnitker

"Quality Offensive Teacher Education" by the federal and state governments; funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Phase 1: 01.10.2015-31.12.2018
Phase 2: 01.01.2019-31.12.2023

Biblical Theology/Old Testament: Prof. Dr. Ilse Müllner
Religious Education: Prof. Dr. Annegret Reese-Schnitker

Former Research Assistant: Dr. Nele Spiering-Schomborg
Former Research Assistant: Marcel Franzmann
Former Research Assistant: Sarah Caroline Jäger
Current Contact: Theresa Michel-Heldt

Questions about the portrayal of sexualized violence in the Bible and religious education form the focus of the sub-project. An important goal is to enable professionally framed discussions about sexualized violence in religious education and thus to contribute to the removal of taboos and to primary prevention. The work on biblical texts, which address (sexually) violent situations in a contrastive variety, is decisive. As teaching and learning media, however, the narratives need a suitable setting: with regard to sexualized violence, for example, there is still a need to promote a multifaceted culture of speaking that, among other things, looks scrutinizingly at the social interrelationship of violent structures and exposes forms of oppression such as sexism as powerful in terms of injury. In the field of religious education, there is a clear need to catch up in view of such primary prevention of sexualized violence. By developing and testing teaching-learning concepts, we contribute to this. In the first project phase (2015-2018), this was done in the narrower context of the university, i.e. student teachers were introduced to the topic through an exchange with biblical narratives and with the help of interdisciplinary approaches and sensitized to the central categories of (sexual) violence, power and gender. The university didactic learning environment bears the name H.A.G.A.R - which stands for Look, Listen, Believe, Participate, Respond. H.A.G.A.R is both the object of investigation and the output of the PRONET projects of the first and now also the second phase (2019-2023). The learning environment will be adapted and evaluated for religious education in secondary schools. Furthermore, a "materialization" of the existing learning environment is aimed at. In addition to the school, the focus hereafter is on the development of new learning sites: a research workshop and an online portal. These are intended to expand the spectrum of learning opportunities and open them up to different target groups - as platforms for offerings, exchange and innovation.

Ilse Müllner/Annegret Reese-Schnitker/Nele Spiering-Schomborg, Sprachfähig werden. Thematizing sexualized violence in religious education. In: Katechetische Blätter 2019 (4), pp. 305-311.

Nele Spiering-Schomborg, Unterrichtspraktische Anregungen zum Umgang mit "Texts of Terror". In: Katechetische Blätter 2019 (4), 312-318.

Ilse Müllner/Annegret Reese-Schnitker/Nele Spiering-Schomborg, Overcoming Silence. Teaching and learning in the wake of Old Testament accounts of sexualized violence. In Monique Meier/Kathrin Ziepprecht/Jürgen Mayer (Eds.), Teacher Education in Networked Learning Environments. Münster: Waxmann 2018, pp. 163-178.

Nele Spiering-Schomborg, Sexualized violence and biblical didactics. In: Alexandra Retkowski/Angelika Treibel/Elisabeth Tuider (eds.), Handbook Sexualized Violence and Pedagogical Contexts. Theory, research, practice. Weinheim and Munich: Beltz Juventa 2018, pp. 679-688.

Nele Spiering-Schomborg, Sido betet. Hip hop meets psalm didactics. In: Austrian Forum for Religious Education. Graz and Vienna 2017, 25 (2), pp. 27-31. Available at: