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The overall aim of Plureligion/net is to establish a dialogue between local research projects in order to obtain cross-project findings about the process of religious pluralisation. For this reason, several international meetings and other activities were organised in the last 5 years.



Kick-off Conference Iconic Religion

The international HERA-Project Iconic Religion: How Imaginaries of Religious Encounter Structure Urban Space made its debut with an inaugural conference from 17 February to 19 February 2014. As part of the Plureligion Network, international researchers were invited to shed light on the multiple forms of religious plurality can become iconic in urban life. While CERES projects have often focussed the quantiative aspects of religious diversity, this joint project analyses the visual and yet material manifestations of religious plurality in the three European capitals Amsterdam, Berlin, and London. The kick-off conference at Ruhr-University Bochum started the project's work and gathered researchers from across Europe to present their qualitative research on the topic.

The papers and topics at the conference were as follows:

Prof. Dr. Hans Belting (Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe) "Iconic Presence: Anthropology and/as Iconology"
Dr. Anne Huffschmid (Freie Universität Berlin) "Other Ways of Knowing: About Research on Urban Ghosts and Spirits"
Prof. Dr. Birgit Meyer (Universiteit Utrecht) "Urban Imaginaries and Religious Icons: How Religion Takes Place in the City"
Prof. Dr. Christoph Uehlinger (Universität Zürich) "Visible Religion: Developments in Visual/Material Culture Studies and Aesthetics of Religion"
Dr. Claire Dwyer (University College London) "Faith in Suburbia: A Shared Photographic Journey"
Prof. Dr. Kim Knott (Lancaster University) "Iconic Religion: Spatial Issues and Methods"
Prof. Dr. Alexander-Kenneth Nagel (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) "Deceptive Silence: Religious Encounter in Multifaith Rooms of Quiet"
Nika Spalinger (Hochschule Luzern) "Exploring Religion through Contemporary Art"
Susanne Lanwerd (Ruhr-Universität Bochum/ Freie Universität Berlin) "How to Exhibit Religion? Inspirations from Three Contemporary Approaches"


Lecture series on Religious Plurality & Migration

From sommer term 2010 to winter term 2013, CERES Young Academic Research Group Networking Religion organised a lecture series for students and public audience on the topics of religious plurality, pluralisation by migration, and local religious diversity in the Ruhr area. The lectures were presented by German as well as international guest lecturers from both the academia as well as the non-academia such as the public service. 

The lecturers and topics of the series were as follows (selection of 2012 & 2013):

Dr. Zeynep Sezgin (Bochum): Cross-Border Migrant Organizations in Germany, 08 November 2012
Dr. Michael Kiefer (Düsseldorf): Imame in Deutschland - vom Vorbeter zum multifunktionalen Akteur?, 25 October 2012
Cordula Weißköppel: Die Kultur der Väter verstehen. Transnationale Emigration koptisch-orthodoxer Christen, 18 October 2012
Prof. Dr. Manuel Vásquez (University of Florida): Brazil and the Emerging Global Cartography of the Sacred, 26 June 2012
Prof. Dr. Yvonne Schütze (Berlin): Auf der Suche nach Identität - junge russisch-jüdische Migranten in Berlin, 21 June 2012
Prof. Dr. Martin Baumann (Lucerne): Von Gegenorten zu neuen Brückenorten: Moscheen, Tempel und Pagoden in Deutschland und der Schweiz, 31 May 2012
Prof. Dr. Annette Wilke (Münster): Der Hamm-Uentroper Tempel als neue kulturelle Kontaktzone: Beobachtungen zur integrativen Rolle von Parallelgesellschaften, 10 May 2012
Prof. Dr. Waltraud Kokot (Hamburg): Diaspora als Ressource – Urbanität und soziale Organisation als Faktoren für Diaspora- Erfolg, 03 May 2012
Dr. Dirk Halm (Duisburg/Essen): Strukturen und Angebote der Moscheegemeinden in Deutschland, 26 January 2012
Dr. Brigitte Luchesi (Bremen/Berlin): The annual 'Tamil Pilgrimage' to Kevelaer, 23 January 2012
Prof. Dr. Hans G. Kippenberg (Bremen): Religiöse Pluralisierung und religiöse Gewalt im Zeiltater der Globalisierung, 15 December 2011
Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack (Münster): Wahrnehmung und Akzeptanz religiöser Pluralität in ausgewählten Ländern Westeuropas, 08 December 2011
Dr. Astrid Reuter (Münster): Gottes Recht im Verfassungsstaat. Rechtspluralismus als Gebot von Religionsfreiheit?, 24 November 2011



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".



Summer School "Religious Pluralisation and Migration"

The summer school under the heading of "Religious Pluralisation and Migration" was held at Ruhr-Universität Bochum from 26 to 31 July 2010. 21 doctoral candidates from various European countries came together. The summer school was organised jointly by the Social Science Faculty in Bochum and the Centre for Religious Studies (CERES). The participants looked at the political and social contexts of religious pluralism in lectures and workshops. The five-day event comprised various different modules. Participants could choose from six workshops on the methods and theories in migration research. They also had an opportunity to present their research work to internationally renowned scientists and young scientists from various countries and disciplines, with subsequent discussions. Lectures given by experts including Robert C. Smith (New York), Matthias König (Göttingen) and Detlef Pollack (excellence cluster Religion and Politics, Münster) offered participants an insight into the current status of research into migration and religious pluralism.

The topics of the individual workshops and lectures were as follows:

Prof. Dr. Matthias König (Georg-August University Göttingen)" International Migration and the Governance of Religious Diversity",
Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack (Excellence cluster Religion and Politics, Münster) "Reactions to Religious Pluralisation in Europe",
Dr. Robert C. Smith (City University of New York) "Religious / migrants' organizations and community building",
Prof. Dr. Frank Neubert (University of Bern) "Interpretation Methods: Discourse Analysis",
Jun.-Prof. Ingo Rohlfing (University of Cologne) "Interpretation Methods: Case Study Design & Qualitative Comparative Analysis",
PD Dr. Heidrun Friese (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)" Ethnographic methods and interviewing techniques",
Prof. Dr. Flemming Christiansen (University of Leeds) "Ethnographic methods and interviewing techniques",
Dr. Markus Hero (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) "Religious diversity and its impacts - A country comparative perspective",
Prof. Dr. Ludger Pries & Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alexander-K. Nagel (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) "Transnational spaces & religious networking",
Prof. Dr. Anja Weiß (University of Duisburg Essen) "Ethnographic methods and interviewing techniques".



Conference: "Religious Pluralisation in Europe - Conditions, Dimensions, Consequences"

The first conference of the Plureligion Network was held at Ruhr-Universität Bochum from 8 to 10 October 2009. More than 20 researchers from Europe and North America were invited to present their previous activities and research topics and to develop joint perspectives for future research projects.

The lectures and topics at the conference were as follows:

Dr. Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger (University of Aarhus) "Social and economic driving forces - Governance of Religious Diversity",
Prof. Dr. John Madeley (London School of Economics) "Legal and political conditions to Religious Pluralisation",
Prof. Dr. Detlef Pollack (University of Münster) "The Religious Situation in Europe",
Dr. Friederike Böllmann (University of Marburg) "Religious corporative actors as agents of Religious Pluralisation",
Jun. Prof. Alexander K. Nagel (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) "The social structure of Religious Diversity",
Elina Elorante (Conference of European Churches, Brussels) & Malika Hamidi (European Muslim Network, Brussels) "Policy making and religious stakeholders in the EU-context: The Organisation of religious interests under the conditions of European integration: religious corporative actors as agents of religious pluralism",
Dr. Markus Hero (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) with Dr. Kimmo Ketola (Church Research Tampere) and Prof. Dr. Volkhard Krech (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) and Jun.Prof. Dr. Alexander K. Nagel (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) and Dr. Marjan Smrke (University of Ljubljana) "Results from country case-studies Finland, Germany and Slovenia",
Prof. Dr. Peter Beyer (University of Ottawa) "Exogenous consequences: Diaspora and Social Cohesion",
Prof. Dr. Anne Sophie Lamine (Université de Strasbourg) "Endogenous consequences: Reconfigurations of the Religious Field",
Prof. Dr. Eva Hamberg (University of Lund) "Endogenous consequences: Vitalisation vs. Indifference".