Religious Space, Atmospheres, and the Transcendent

Social atmospheres are omnipresent in everyday life. They characterise social situations and interactions and depend on individuals as well as spatial and material configurations. This interplay is particularly evident in religious buildings and place. In the RelSAT project (Religious Space, Atmospheres and the Transcendent), we therefore focus on the investigation of atmospheres in religious buildings.

The project, funded by the DFG for three years, works with an empirical approach to atmospheres and uses methods of qualitative social research to gain a better understanding of the interplay between the various elements of atmospheres. Of particular interest are migration and diaspora contexts, in which atmospheres play a crucial role in the hybridisation and adaptation processes. The case studies used as examples Japanese Christian churches. As Christianity in Japan is still often seen as “non-Japanese” in present-day Japan, the aim is to work out the extent to which the atmospheres of Japanese churches emphasise or weaken this perceived “non-Japanese” character.

Since RelSAT is an interdisciplinary project, it combines approaches from the Study of Religion and Japanese studies, and focuses on contemporary Japanese Christianity, a still rather unexplored field of research. As an innovative research project, it also combines different methodological approaches to better investigate the socio-spatial arrangement.

Find more about the project at


15.09.2023 – 14.09.2026

Funded by

Affiliated Persons

Photograph of Dr. Martin Radermacher

Dr. Martin Radermacher

Project Leader

Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 3.13
+49 234 32-24697
Photograph of Prof. Dr. Monika Schrimpf

Prof. Dr. Monika Schrimpf

Project Leader

Wilhelmstraße 90
72074  Tübingen
Photograph of Dunja Sharbat Dar

Dunja Sharbat Dar

Associated Researcher

Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum

Lara Seeger

Student Assistant

Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum