Germany's religious landscape is changing immensely. The multitude of challenges, this change causes, is now explored by young researchers at the newly established graduate school RePliR.
On the 1st of December 2016, the interdisciplinary graduate school Religiöse Pluralität und ihre Regulierung in der Region (RePliR - Regulating Religious Plurality in the Region) starts its work. It is funded by the Minstery of Innovation, Science and Research of the Bundesland North Rhine-Westphalia and conducted as a joint-venture by the Center for Religion and Modernity (University of Münster) and the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
In the next four years, elven PhD students will explore the challenges, a changing religious landscape has for the societal life - especially with a regional focus on the Ruhr Area and Westphalia.
Analysing Religious Diversity
The reasons for the changes are among others migration and increasing loss of importance of traditional religions such as Christianity. Within this dynamic field, the researchers will analyse esecially two aspects of religious diversity
- how religious groups regulate themselves and
- how they are regulated by other social institutions such as politics and the media.
Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech of the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) of Ruhr-Universität Bochum leads this graduate school together with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Willems of the Center for Religion and Modernity (CRM) of the Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU).
Grand Opening in Bochum's Art Museum
The graduate school will be opened with a public event on 1st of December 2016 in the Kunstmuseum Bochum. Secretary of State, Mr Thorsten Klute (government of North Rhine-Westphalia) will give a opening speech. A public discussion on religious diversity will follow with guests from the academia, politics, and media.
Interdisciplinary and transdiscipilary Networks
In terms of research, the graduate school incorporates projects from different areas, among other Religious Studies, Islamic Theology, Philosophy of Law, Economics, Communication Studies and Education Studies.
Besides, the school cooperates with different non-academic institutions as the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, the Ruhr Museum Essen, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, Mercator Foundation (Essen) and Bertelsmann Foundation (Gütersloh).
Practical Experience through Cooperation with Extranal Partners
Practical experiences are of special importance within the graduate school: All 13 PhD students cooperate with different institutions of civil society such as the Roman-Catholic diocese of Essen, the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, the Alevi Community of Germany, the Confederation of German Trade Unions, the Ministery of Health of North-Rhine Westphalia and the WDR (West German Broadcasting Cologne).
For more information of the graduate school please visit the RePlir website.