Dogmatics examines the doctrines and related theological thinking of different religions. In Christian theology, dogmatics investigates the development of the Christian doctrine, the birth of individual dogmas, the doctrines of different churches, and the outlooks of individual theologians and schools of theology. Dogmatics is not limited to Christianity: it can study any religion. As a scientific discipline, dogmatics does not stand for or against the doctrines it studies.
Dogmatic research serves the Christian church by conducting objective and critical research about its traditions. This research also serves society: after all, the Christian church and its doctrines have deeply influenced Western culture and shaped Europe and the whole world –and continue to do so.
Ecumenics examines the Creeds and the theological thinking behind ecumenism, the quest for Christian unity. Ecumenics is the academic research of ecumenism and related issues, which was born out of the ecumenical movement.
A key area of ecumenics is the expertise in Lutheran ecumenical foundations and Luther's theology. Other research interests include ecumenical movements, ecumenical theology and the Creeds, interfaith dialogue, and the prerequisites of ecumenism. Moreover, ecumenics is concerned with the mutual socio‑ethical activities of the Christian churches, and with issues of development and justice, peace and human rights, and their relation to the life and doctrine of the churches.
Theological and social ethics
Theological and social ethics examines ethical theories and questions of moral behaviour. It covers the history of ethics from Antiquity and the beginning of Christianity, including the Aristotelian tradition of virtues, the Augustinian theory of free will, and scholastic and reformative theories of humans and the concepts of right and wrong.
Our research topics thus touch on many ethically significant global issues. Social ethics, applied ethics, bioethics, and ethical issues in medicine and economy also fall under the scope of theological ethics.
Philosophy of religion
The philosophy of religion is concerned with philosophical questions and notions related to religion. The philosophy of religion approaches religious and theological issues with philosophical tools and discusses these themes from both historical and modern perspectives. Key philosophical questions related to religion include faith and reason, religious language and experience, and religion and culture.
The philosophy of religion thus touches on a wide range of topics across Western thinking and culture and offers us a profound understanding of the ideologies and movements born in Western culture.