VICISU - Vienna International Christian-Islamic Summer University

From 29 July to 18 August 2018, the “Vienna Christian-Islamic Summer University - VICISU”, organized by Prof. Marboe took place at the Abbey of Altenburg in Lower Austria for the sixth time, the third time under the label „univie:summerschools“. The 30 participants came from 13 different countries: Australia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Turkey, Uganda, United States, and Austria. During the three weeks the students studied topics such as “Religion and Politics”, “Women and Djihadism”, or “Islam, Sharia and Politics in Southeast Asia”. The courses were held by professors and experts from Austria and abroad, such as Prof. Nahide Bozkurt (University of Ankara), Dr. Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck (Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut), Dr. Gudrun Harrer (University of Vienna; Der Standard), Dr. Edward Salifu Mahama (University for Development Studies, Ghana), Prof. Ann Black (Ass. Prof. University of Queensland), Prof. Wolfgang Müller-Funk (University of Vienna), Prof. Stefan Prochazka (University of Vienna), Mag. Adel-N. Reyhani (Ludwig Boltzmann Institut) und Prof. Volker Stümke (University Rostock). Prof. Marboe held the lecture “Introduction to International Law and Human Rights” in the first week. For the first time, an additional two-day by Dr. Blanka Bellak and Gudrun Van Pottelbergh was offered.

The topics of the lectures provoked intense discussions among the students. However, the summer university was also affected by the actual political situation and violent events occurring contemporarily in different parts of the world. Yet, for the first time, three students from Africa were able to participate, who received their visa due to the committed support of their home institutions, the Austrian DKA, and the University of Vienna. By contrast, the issuance of the visas for students from Pakistan was extremely difficult and delayed.

The last few days of the program were spent in Vienna, where the Vice-dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Franz-Stefan Meissel, handed out the certificates of participation and the transcript of records to the students. A reception in Vienna’s Town Hall, guided tours through the city of Vienna, and a visit to the United Nations in Vienna completed the program.

The VICISU is mainly financed by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, but also the support of the Province of Lower Austria, the City of Vienna, the DKA (the development agency of the Catholic Children’s Movement of Austria) and Stift Altenburg make the organization of  this biannual international and interdisciplinary program possible.