Since the end of the Second World War the pluri-discipline Comparative Religion, Missiology (and Ecumenics) is undergoing a permanent transformation process due to critical discourses on colonialism and decolonization (Postcolonialism), cold war and globalization, secularization and desecularization, feminism and gender studies as well as cultural-religious pluralism. Comparative Religion observes from an outside perspective the plurality of religions, while Missiology reflects on the encounter with the cultural and religious other from an inside perspective in the light of the Christian call to spread the gospel. Regarding the historically grown world Christianity Missiology shares with Ecumenics in the research on intra-Christian pluralism. Contextual theologies and Christian art of the Third World are therefore a central field of research at the chair in Mainz.
The neologism „Intercultural Theology“ signifies the project to explore these interconfessional, intercultural and interreligious dimensions of Christian faith. To tackle with the dialogues and conflicts that thereby come to the fore, knowledge of history of religions and methodology of religious studies are just as indispensable than the theological toolbox. Hermeneutics and esthetics have a bridge function in this respect.