Dr. Maren Freudenberg
Fon+49 234 32-22092
Senior Lecturer for the Sociology of Religion
Associate Editor Entangled Religions
Erasmus+ Coordinator Teaching Unit Religious Studies
Office hours by appointment (please e-mail me)
Areas of Research
Religion and Economy: Relationship between these two socially differentiated yet intertwined spheres, including from the perspective of the sociolgy of religion, history of religion, and economics
Religion and Modernity: religious authority and religious social forms; processes of institutionalization and differentiation
Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity: Worldwide growth, especially in Global South, as connected to social forms and religious worldview/beliefs/practices
Christianity in the USA: Evangelicals and Mainline Protestants; Latter-Day Saints (Mormons); American religion in the 20th century
Qualitative methods od data collection and analysis: interviews, observation, coding/categorizing, Grounded Theory, text/image sequence analysis, qualitative content analysis, discourse analysis
Since April 2022: Senior lecturer for the Sociology of Religion
April 2021 - March 2022: Interim Professor Study of Religions
January 2021 - March 2021: Academic Councilor
November 2019 - December 2020: Scientific Coordinator of the Graduate School Religious Plurality and Its Regulation in the Region (RePliR)
since April: 2017 Associate Editor of Entangled Religions, Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Religious Contact and Transfer
September 2016 - November 2019: Research associate at CERES
April – August 2016: Researcher and Lecturer, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
March 2016: Dr. phil., Sociology (summa cum laude), Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Dissertation: Community and Individual in Late Modern Religion: Mainline Protestantism Between Tradition and Innovation. The Case of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
February 2013 – May 2015: Empirical research in Minnesota and Wisconsin, USA
October 2012 - March 2016: Doctoral Candidate at the Graduate School of North American
Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
December 2011 - September 2012: Office management, Department of Southeast Asian Studies,
Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
April 2010 - November 2011: Public Affairs Consultant, dimap communications Berlin
June 2009 - March 2010: Event management assistant, Training for International
Diplomats, Auswärtiges Amt Berlin
February 2008 - May 2009: Freelance journalist
January 2008: M.A. (Magistra Artium), English Language and Literature, Political Science, Cultural Anthropology, University of Trier, Germany
M.A. Thesis: Images of the Self and Other in Chinese Canadian Literature
August – October 2007: Research stay at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
October 2006: Ethnographic methods training with the department of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Trier, Germany, in Vietnam
Summer Semester 2023
"The Black Church in Past and Present: African American Christianity as a Multidimensional Religious Tradition", B.A./M.A. (Religious Studies, Sociology, History, North American Studies)
"Qualitative Empirical Methods in the Social Scientific Study of Religion", B.A./M.A. (Social Sciences)
"American Mormons: An Introduction", B.A./M.A. (Religious Studies, North American Studies)
"Introduction to the Religion and Economy nexus", B.A./M.A. (Sociology, Religious Studies, Economics)
"Theories and Approaches in the Social Scientific Study of Religion", B.A./M.A. (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"Qualitative Empirical Methods in the Social Scientific Study of Religion", B.A./M.A. (Social Sciences)
"Global Charismatic Christianity", B.A./M.A. (Religious Studies)
"Theories and Approaches in the Study of Religion", B.A. (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"Qualitative Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religions", B.A. (Social Sciences)
"Evangelicals Yesterday and Today", B.A./M.A. course (Religious Studies)
"Religion and Gender - Perspectives on Historical and Contemporary Processes of Transformation", B.A. and M.A. (Religious Studies, Gender Studies)
"Religion and Modernity: Europe, North America, the Middle East", B.A. lecture (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"Religious Authority Online and Offline in Christianity and Islam", B.A. and M.A. (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"The Economics of Religion", B.A. and M.A. (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"Charismatic Religions in the USA and Western Europe: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches", B.A. (Religious Studies)
"Mapping Religion: Mapping Charismatic Churches in the Ruhr Area" B.A. Research Project Course (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"American Megachurches from Religious Studies and Theology Perspectives", B.A. and M.A. (Religious Studies, Theology)
"Faith and the Vote: Religion and Politics in the United States", B.A. and M.A. (History, Religious Studies)
"Made in the USA: Neocharismatic American Religions in North Rhine-Westphalia", B.A. and M.A. Research Project Course (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"On the Right End of the Spectrum: Conservative Religion in Contemporary America", M.A. (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"The American Religious Landscape in the 21st Century", B.A. (Sociology, Religious Studies)
"Community and Individual in American Society“, M.A. (Sociology, Cultural Studies, North American Studies)
"Charismatic American Faith in Contemporary Germany”, M.A. Research Project Course (Sociology, Religious Studies)
“Protestant Faith in America Yesterday and Today”, B.A. (Sociology, Cultural Studies, North American Studies)
"American Protestantism in the Twenty-first Century”, B.A. (Sociology, Cultural Studies, North American Studies)
B.A./M.A. Colloquium (Religious Studies)
- May 2022 - "Social Forms in Global Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity: A Key to Understanding Its Growth?" Digital workshop Mapping Religious Studies, hosted by the German Association for Religious Studies.
- March 2021 - "Joel Osteen's Prosperity Gospel and the Enduring Popularity of America's 'Smiling Preacher'." Conference Speaking to God and the World - Ritual and Social Dynamics of Religious Speech, Humboldt University Berlin and Max Planck Institute for Human Development Tübingen
- Sep 2020 - "Change of Religious Social Forms in American Mainline Protestantism: The Example of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America." Research Cloud Competition of Religious Social Forms Workshop, Excellency Cluster Religion and Politics, University of Münster
- Nov 2019 - "Religion and Popular Culture in American Lutheranism as Compared to Conservative Evangelicalism." Sociology of Religion Section of the German Association for Sociology, Annual Conference Religion and Popular Culture. Institute for Sociology, Technical University Berlin.
- Mar 2019 - "Gospels of Prosperity and Simplicity. Explaining Variation in the Protestant Moral Economy", Working Group Religion and Economy Workshop Religion and Property. Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
- Feb 2019 - "Religious Authority and the Self-Representation of Neoconservative German Christians Online", Interdisciplinary Conference Internet, Authority, and Religious Contact. Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
- Sep 2018 - "Religiöser Wandel durch glokale Innovation: Der Fall der Vineyard Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz", 39th Congress of the German Sociological Association (DGS): Komplexe Dynamiken globaler und lokaler Entwicklungen, Göttingen.
- Sep 2018 - "Neo-Charismatics in Germany and Switzerland: On the Periphery of Organized Christianity", Public Lecture at the the University of Missouri's Religious Studies Department, Springfield (USA).
- Sep 2017 - “Modes of Reflexivity and Religious Communication.” EASR 2017 Annual Conference: Communicating Religion. Leuven, Belgium.
- Aug 2017 - “The Morphogenesis of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” 112th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association: Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion Across the Globe, Montréal, Canada.
- Oct 2016 - “Shifts in American Protestantism and the Changing U.S. Religious Landscape.” Interdisciplinary Conference Still “God’s Own Country”? Religion and the 2016 American Presidential Elections, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
- Sep 2016 - “Organisatorischer Wandel in rückläufigen religiösen Organisationen in den USA: Spätmoderne Veränderungsprozesse im Mainline Protestantism.“ 38th Congress of the German Association for Sociology (DGS): Geschlossene Gesellschaften, Bamberg.
- Apr 2015 - “Liturgical Traditionalism and Spiritual Vitality. Transforming Congregational Practices in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” Fifth International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society: Social Movements and Faith, Berkeley, CA.
- Jan 2015 - “Structure, Agency, and Social Change: Margaret Archer’s Theory of Analytical Dualism and Morphogenesis.” Graduate Colloquium Sociology, John-F.-Kennedy-Institute for North America Studies, Free University Berlin.
- Jul 2014 - “The Emerging Church Movement in the USA as a Critical Response to the Neoliberalization of Religious Organizations.” XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing an Unequal World. Challenges for Global Sociology. Yokohama, Japan.
- Dec 2013 - “The Emerging Church Movement in the USA as a Critique of 20th Century American Religion.” 4th Annual Graduate Conference of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders": Practices of Critique. Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main.
- Aug 2013 - “What's So ‘Evangelical’ About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America? How Local Innovations and Emerging Church Currents are Transforming the ELCA as a Mainline Institution.” 75th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion: Tributaries, Eddies, and Cross-Currents: Religion Outside the Mainstream, New York.
- Global Young Faculty (2019-2021)
- German Association for Sociology (DGS), Sociology of Religion Section
- European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR)
- International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR)
- German Association for Religious Studies (DVRW)
- Working Group Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic Movements of the DVRW
- Working Group Research on Contemporary Religion of the DVRW
- Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR)
- Religious Studies Media and Information Service (REMID)
- European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism
- Interdisciplinary Working Group Pentecostal Movements (IAKP)
Research Associate of Center for Religious Studies and CERES Teaching
Former Project Management of Graduate School RePliR