Module II, Vienna

Wien/Vienna, 18 – 25.9. 2011

Albert Schweitzer Haus, 1090 Wien, Schwarzspanierstraße 13
Tel. +43 1 (0) 699 18877 950 (Mobile Phone: Barbara Heyse-Schaefer)
Tel. +43 1 (0) 699 18877 746 (Mobile Phone: Heike Wolf)


The reflection on historic memories is intimately linked to the location of Module II in Vienna. Here the experience of the Turkish sieges of the 16th and 17th centuries is not forgotten. It continues to shape popular culture and the relationships between the local people and the largely Muslim migrant population, many of them of Turkish origin. At the same time legal recognition of Islam in Austria dates back to the early 20th century.

The module will present new research on the historic events and the way they shaped the “look at the Orient” and the images of “the other” up to present times. It will also look at some specific fields of interaction and potential tension between majority culture and migrant communities. How are mutual perceptions shaped by old images? How are new images being created? What are building blocks for communities of (religious) diversity and good neighbourly living? The module will introduce some best practise examples and continually stimulate reflection on these.

The module

  • introduces new research on the history of Christian-Muslim interactions in Central Europe. It explores where the memories come from: the negative experience of the Turkish sieges or the early positive recognition of Islam in the Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • looks at specific fields of interaction in daily living. Family patterns, food, health and hygiene, dress codes, feasts, work, presence in the public space, art and music – these are areas marked by both cooperation and tension.


The module practices dialogue and intercultural communication in a variety of ways: lectures, cultural presentations, “encuentros,” sharing innovative practices, and doing things together in a neighbourly fashion, such as shopping for food and cooking.


Vienna has always been a meeting place of cultures, where people have developed their own way of integrating diverse elements into something new. More recently right-wing political trends have played on old prejudices against migrants. In this context, dialogue has become important among the different religious communities.


Protestant Women’s Agency, Protestant Academy Vienna
Catholic Women’s Movement of Austria
Association of Muslim Women’s Organisations in Austria


Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria


Evangelische Frauenarbeit
Blumengasse 4, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 14089605

Detailed programme >>

Programme in Word >>

baghdadi_ranaRana Baghdadi, Bacc.I, was born in Damascus, Syria. Rana Baghdadi is an Austrian citizen. She specialised in Arabic and Islamic Studies in Beirut; teaches Arabic at the Islamic Academy for Pedagogy of Religion in Vienna; and is a trained integration coach.



wolf_heikeHeike Wolf, Master of Divinity, is a Protestant theologian and a pastor, working as teacher of religious education in schools, with a focus on intercultural and interreligious learning. She is a co-founder of the “neighbour to neighbour” meetings between Christian and Muslim women in Vienna.

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