Module V, Amsterdam

The challenge of migrant communities - revisiting integration

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
September 30—October 6, 2017



Human history is a history of migration. Over the ages, danger, need and curiosity have prompted people to leave their countries of origin in search of security, livelihood and fulfilment. Many also migrated for religious reasons; the journey without return is a deep religious symbol that can be found in both the Bible and the Qur’an. Today sizeable communities of Muslim migrants live in many European countries. How do they deal with living in societies where many of the norms are different from those they are familiar with, from their own religious and cultural backgrounds? How can they become active and accepted citizens of this new homeland without losing their heritage?

The module:

  • analyzes why people migrate and how host communities react to them
  • includes study and interpretation of stories of migration in the holy books
  • fosters understanding of the difficulties of developing concepts of integration
  • explores new ways of dealing with cultural and religious differences.


The module emphasizes the ‘encounter’ method of learning. Problems are analyzed by interacting with people at all levels of society (civic and religious authorities, people directly affected by the problem, etc.) and by learning to look at the issue from various perspectives. To achieve this, the module introduces a variety of creative didactic methods.


The module explores new initiatives and models of integration in the Netherlands. The group stays in the Dominican Priory in Huissen, and from there it visits migrant communities and projects in Amsterdam and other cities, which are home to people of many different cultures and religions. There will also be an encounter with women from the Jewish community.


Dr. Geertje de Vries, studied Theology at the Kampen Theological University. She worked as an ordained minister in the Protestant Church for nine years, and in 2008 she defended her PhD thesis on subject of ’Learning to see – learning to believe. A practical-theological theory of aesthetic-religious learning’. In 2008 – 2013, De Vries worked as a lecturer at the department of Theology and Life Philosophy at Inholland University in Amstelveen. Presently she works as a minister again, in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

Dr. Stella van de Wetering, currently works as a lecturer at VU University, Faculty of Theology, Cantre of Islamic Theology (CIT) and Inholland University Amsterdam, Department Education, Learning and Life Philosophy at the Teacher Training Program for Teachers Islam. Wetering graduated in Arabic language and Arabic Islamic culture. Her field of expertise is Arabic language, Gender and Islamic Theology, Islamic Pedagogy, Islamic Education and Interreligious Dialogue.



Dominican Research Centre for Theology and Society (DSTS), Dominikanenklooster Huissen, Oecumenische Vrouwensynode (Organization of Christian Women), Al Nisa (Organization of Muslim Women), VU University Amsterdam, Inholland University Amsterdam.


DSTS, Nieuwe Herengracht 18, NL-1018 DP Amsterdam
Tel: +3120-6235721, E-mail:

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