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Conference "Local Religious Plurality"

A further part of the Plureligion Network activities was the international Conference on "Local Religious Plurality". As quantitative studies in Europe indicate it is difficult to verify the impacts of religious pluralisation processes only using statistics on overall social effects (e.g. total participation rates within the population as an indicator for religious vitality). Nevertheless the plurality of the religious landscape still seems to generate a new awareness of religion as an issue, with the moral and legal problems being discussed in the media, politics and civil society. In order to examine the conditions and processes of these phenomena, it would seem appropriate to supplement the previous questions regarding the overall impact of religious plurality in terms of social statistics with case studies that examine the coexistence of different religious streams in regional and local settings: How does the process of religious plurality take place locally? Which local patterns of religious plurality become apparent? How do different religious organisations become established in the local context? What is the local infrastructure of religious plurality? Which social negotiation processes take place in the "fight for recognition" on the local level? The conference was held at Ruhr-Universität Bochum from 16th to 17th June 2011. The event gathered scientists looking into the regional conditions and consequences of religious plurality. Interesting presentations included both quantitative stocktaking reports and qualitative studies dealing with the coexistence of different religious currents.

The papers and topics at the conference were as follows:

  • Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) "Introduction – Religious Pluralisation as a Research Topic", 
  • Dr. Markus Hero (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) "Religious Pluralisation in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany", 
  • Dr. Stefan Rademacher (Universität Bern) "Religious Pluralisation in Berlin, Germany", 
  • Christoph Peter Baumann (INFOREL, Basel) "Religious Pluralisation in Basel, Switzerland", 
  • Dr. Andre Ritter (Europäisches Institut für interkulturelle und interreligiöse Forschung, Vaduz) "Religious Pluralisation in the Rhine Valley", 
  • Dr. Christophe Monnot (Universität Lausanne) "Religious Pluralisation in Switzerland, Fact or Fiction?", 
  • Dr. Markus Hero (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) "Religious Pluralisation in Finland, Germany and Slovenia", 
  • Prof. Dr. Kim Knott (Universität Leeds) "Spaces of Religious Diversity: Research, Community Engagement and Policy Intervention in the UK", 
  • Dr. Steffen Dix (Universität Lissabon) "The Impact of Historical Understanding: Religious Plurality in Portugal", 
  • Dr. Ingrid Storm (Universität Manchester) "Secular Christianity as National Identity: Religion, Nationality and Attitudes to Immigration in Western Europe", 
  • Dr. Alexander Yendell (Universität Münster) "Perception and Acceptance of Religious Diversity among the Population of five European Countries".