Religious Pluralisation in Europe – Conditions, Dimensions, Consequences
Conference of the NORFACE Capacity Building Programme: “Re-emergence of Religion as a Social Force in Europe?”, hosted by the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany, October 8th-10th 2009
Cultural diversity has always been an important issue with regard to European integration and the formation of a European identity. The conference on “Religious Pluralisation in Europe” brings together renown scholars of religion to discuss about the conditions, dimensions and consequences of religious diversity in the European Union and beyond. The first section of the conference deals with exogenous as well as endogenous conditions of pluralisation, such as legal frameworks, political paradigms and the structuration and institutional constitution of the religious field itself.
The second section focuses on dimensions of religious pluralisation in a comparative setting whereas the third section is concerned with both social and religious consequences: is religious diversity a threat to social cohesion or a societal resource? Does it lead to an increased competition among religious communities and what is the impact of public regulation or deregulation on this religious market?
Besides from the academic discussion, the conference addresses the topic of policy making and governance of religious diversity: The plan for the scientific co-ordination of the NORFACE religion programme included a cross-programme meeting to discuss policy issues between researchers and invited outsiders concerned with policy in this area. In this way the conference involves stakeholders from the European sphere who are involved in the actual process of decision making with regard to religion and religious pluralisation in the European Union.