FIIT - Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology, Heidelberg
The Forschungszentrum für Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie FIIT (Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology), strengthens interdisciplinary research in academic areas relevant to theology and society. The center has created a network between fifteen autonomous research areas, which are headed by researchers from Heidelberg working in theology or neighboring disciplines. Moreover, since its foundation in 2005 FIIT has developed new forms of international and interdisciplinary research.
The FIIT has initiated the Global Network of Research Centers for Theology, Religious and Christian Studies. In this network, 45 institutions of higher education worldwide have joined forces to arrange for a more flexible and intense exchange of doctoral students and post-docs. Participating institutions were selected for high standards in research. The exchange is supported by five Karl Schlecht-Stipends each year. Joint compact seminars and research colloquia are conducted within the network.
The Manfred Lautenschlaeger for Theological Promise was founded to support young scholars. Honoring outstanding Ph.D. dissertations or the first postdoctoral monograph on the subject "God and Spirituality (broadly understood)", the prize is given to ten upcoming researchers from the most diverse regions of the world. Every year 23 committee members, currently from 19 different countries, select the winners.
In Heidelberg's center, FIIT offers convenient work spaces to scholars from all over the world. Currently a Scholars in Residence Program is being established. During the first years of its existence, researchers from Brazil, China, Denmark, Finnland, the UK, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Korea, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the USA have benefited from this opportunity to use Heidelberg's academic infrastructure.
Another focus of FIIT's work is to maintain and foster the academic relations to universities and seminaries in China, South Korea, South Africa, Northern- and Central Europe and the United States. Multi-year consultations have been made possible in this international and interdisciplinary context. Their outcome has led to various publications.