Religious Diversity in Present Times

Historically, religious diverse societies are the common and not the exceptional case. Religious diversity in a nation state context, however, provokes special challenges and thus attracts special attention.

Researchers working within this CERES' focus area address the terms, conditions, and effects of religious diversity both within single religions, the religious field as well as in regard to its regulation by the domains of politics and law.

Since CERES was founded in 2004, the local religious diversity in the Ruhr area and in North Rhine-Westphalia is object of permanent research: The research project Religiöse Vielfalt lokal – regional – global collected empirical data of religious diversity of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (approx. 17.8 mill inhabitants) for the first time. Between 2009 and 2014 the young researcher's group Networking Religion took in-depth analyses of religious migrant communities in this region.

In order to extend the research on a global scale, CERES has established the plureligion network with international partners. This network brings together international researchers in this field, which do their research on regional and national specifics of religious diversity.

Since summer 2016, CERES has been hosting the Graduate School Religiöser Pluralität und ihrer Regulierung in der Region (Regulating Religious Plurality in the Region) funded by the Ministery for Innovation, Science and Research of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia.

Current Projects

EMPATHIA³ - Research Network

Empowering Police Officers and Teachers in Arguing Against Antisemitism

EMPATHIA³ is unique research network of five partners from six institutions in Germany. The name of the network stands for …

Graduate School RePliV

Graduate School RePliV—Website For pluralistic societies, peaceful coexistence between members of different religious communities and non-religious people is a fundamental …

Scientific Network on the Relationship Between Religious Minorities and Majorities

Over a period of three years, the network, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), will investigate how …

Completed Projects

DFG Research Group “Transformation of Religion in the Modern Age”

Religion and Society in the Second Half of the 20th Century

The relations between religion and modernity are highly ambivalent. Whereas the previously dominant secularization paradigm had described the loss of …

Graduate School RePliR

Regulating Religious Plurality in the Region

The interdisciplinary graduate school Religiöse Pluralität und ihre Regulierung in der Region (RePliR) focusses on the impact of religious pluralisation …

Iconic Religion

How Imaginaries of Religious Encounter Structure Urban Space

Within ongoing processes of religious pluralisation across Europe, materialized religion, in the form of icons in public space, has been …

Interreligious Activities and Municipal Governance in the Ruhr Area

The project deals with interreligious activities and religious encounter in the Ruhr area. Since the topography of religious diversity in …

Islamic Theology at German Universities

An Empirical Research on Islamic Experts in Germany

Jainism in the West

Jain Communities in Europe between internal Self-Insurance and strategic Self-Representation

Jainism is the third religion, along with Buddhism and Brahmanism ("Hinduism"), that originated in ancient India and continues to exist …

Modelling Topics and Structures of Religious Online Communication

The project addresses two main questions: What are the structures of religious communication in online contexts, and how do religious …

NORFACE Project on Religious Diversity

Prior to this research project, the research on religious pluralism in North Rhine-Westphalia had conducted the first comprehensive survey of …

Plureligion Network

Unlike the United States, European countries hardly look back on centuries of religious diversity. Questions like how to encourage a …

Religious Arguments in Legal and Juridical Discourse

Modern pluralistic societies are characterised by citizens of different religious backgrounds and affiliations, that influence their political attitudes and decisions. …

Religious Diversity in North Rhine-Westphalia

Die Pluralisierung der religiösen Mitgliedschaften und Angebote gehört zu den wichtigsten Strukturmerkmalen moderner Gesellschaften. Das Forschungsprojekt Religiöse Vielfalt in Nordrhein-Westfalen …


Transformations of Sacredness: Religious Architecture in Urban Space in 21st Century Germany

The project is a collaboration between CERES and the Chair for the History and Theory of Architecture at the Technical …

Teaching-Learning-Project: Digital Change in the Museum

Digital transformation in the museum sector changes the transfer of knowledge in exhibitions. Technical innovations lead to entirely new ways …

Teaching-Learning-Project: Religion and Death in Contemporary Society

Death is one of the most central topics in the history of religions. In all civilisations and periods of human …

The Neo-Sannya Movement in Western Germany in the 1970s and 1980s

This research project explores the neo-sannyasins or also known as Rajneesh movement and their impact in West-Germany in the 1970s …

Young Researchers' Group “Religious Networking”

From 2009 trough 2014, the young researchers' group Networking Religion – Civic and Economic Potentials of Religious Communities was led …


Photograph of Dr. Tim Karis

Dr. Tim Karis


Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 3.10
+49 234 32-25492
Photograph of Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech

Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech


Universitätsstr. 90a
44789  Bochum
Office 3.12
+49 234 32-22395