Empirical Research and Theories of Religion
The research area is dedicated to qualitative socio-empirical research into contemporary religious cultures. This entails dealing with specific religious people, groups and movements and their actions in the context of today's 'super-diverse' and/or 'post-migrant' societies. Currently, the following regions are under investigation: Germany, Europe, USA, India, Israel, Palestine and Turkey. We are interested in processes of institutional consolidation or of the dissolution of boundaries, for example between religion, health and lifestyle or between religion and politics.
Against this background, we analyse processes and discourses of how people shape, reconsider and change their religious identities. Our interest is how they draw or contest boundaries between religious groups and individuums. This also includes conflict, radicalisation and violence, on the one hand, and religious pluralisation and secularisation, on the other.
Based on empirical observations, we make theoretical contributions to the study of religion. Rather than essentialising religion as a special form of belief-system we consider religion as a social praxis formation. The main focus is on reconstructing and deconstructing current constellations of the people’s lived reality of religious plurality, as well as on the relationship between religion and secularity.