Because of new developments in our research area of sociology (of religion) we now present two ongoing projects on CIRRuS: "Developing further on Bourdieu's theory and methods: HabitusAnalysis; Identity as a network"
With reference to the CIRRuS research project on "Religious faith and social presence: Pentecostal movement and other religious actors in Guatemala and Nicaragua" the German Research Foudation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has published an article in its journal Forschung (Research). A PDF in German is available here.
From now on, we can offer free access to this 2004 book of Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer on our website. On some 400 pages, the author discusses impulses of Pierre Bourdieu?s general sociology for academic theology and the scientific study of religion. Hermeneutical conditions of contextual theology and its specific fields of interest are as much in the focus as foundational questions regarding religion, the definition and, particularly, the praxis of religion.
Since the book is written in German, for your orientation we offer the table of contents in English. You find it here:
[Table of contents in English]
The whole book in German is available here:
Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer (Hg.): Hans Joas in der Diskussion. Kreativität – Selbsttranszendenz – Gewalt. (Hans Joas in debate. Creativity – Self transcendence – Violence).
In celebration of the Bielefeld Science Award to the German sociologist and philosopher Hans Joas, the discussions of the colloquium have been documented and commented in a book.
For more information in German: Link.
This research project, which is funded by the German research council DFG, aims at the analysis of the religious fields of the Central-American countries Guatemala and Nicaragua. The project focuses on the pentecostal movement, which in both countries has gained considerable social and political influence during the second half of the nineteenth century. The movement is not homogeneous, but differentiated in churches whose distinct religious styles, salvation promises, theological contents, and rituals appeal to distinct social constituencies to varying degrees. Using methods designed for a praxeological sociology of religion that builds on the work of Pierre Bourdieu, this project elicits patterned relations between social positions and religious practice and analyzes the political participation and transnational networks of pentecostal actors and congregations. The researchers in this project are Prof. Heinrich Schäfer (chair), Adrián Tovar and Tobias Reu.
The research-emphasis on the Americas in CIRRuS is fostered by Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer being a member of the recently founded Center for InterAmerican Studies (CIAS)
During the Academic Year of 2011 / 12 Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer will stay as research fellow at the Lichtenberg Kolleg, University of Göttingen. He received the invitation in order to work on a theory of identity which is conceived to build a sociological foundation for a theory of religion as praxis.
Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer and Leif Seibert represented CIRRuS at this international symposium on the social theory of Pierre Bourdieu. In the course of their workshop on “Religion and social inequality: on the analysis of religious praxis” they presented the method of “habitus analysis” which will soon be published in a book with the same title.
Investigation in the implicit and explicit attitudes, religious schemata, cultural and biographical predispositions and their effects on inter-religious relations in Germany.
This project investigates, in cross-religious – and hopefully later cross-cultural – comparison, xenophobic and xenosophic attitudes using implicit, explicit and biographical-reconstructive research instruments. Religious schemata are assessed, which are hypothesized to function as mediators for xenophobic and xenosophic attitudes. Special attention deserve the psychological, sociological and biographical contexts as correlates and predictors of xenophobia and xenosophia. 1,000 persons in Germany participate in an Internet-based study in which latent prejudice toward other religions is investigated by a reaction time experiment, the Abrahamitic Religions Xenophobia Test. In this online-study, also a questionnaire will be included with scales for explicit xenophobic attitudes, for psychological and sociological predispositions, and for religious attitudes, centrality of religion and religious schemata. Out of the sample, a subsample of n=30 will be invited to participate in a personal interview which attends to biography, faith development and wisdom-related performance. Since the concept of ‘xenosophia’ has been developed in philosophy of religion, theology and religious education, results of the study are supposed to inspire new ideas in practical theology, pastoral care and counseling, and in religious education. In wider perspective, the relation of predictors, mediators and xenophobic, resp. xenosophic attitudes opens new perspectives on the relation of religion and violence, and on intervention options in respective praxis fields.
In August 21 - 25, 2011 the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR) had its bi-annual conference in Bari, Italien. Our research team from Bielefeld University was well represented.
In the Panel "Both Sides of the Medal: Xenophobia, Prejudice, and Religious Cognition" we had the following presentations:
In the Panel "Horizontal Transcendence and Spirituality in cross-cultral research" we had the following presentations:
Together with Dr. Kornelia Sammet (Univ. of Leipzig) Schäfer organized a panel on Religion and Social Inequality which gave the opportunity to, mostly young, researchers to present ongoing studies on how different settings of social inequality relate to religious praxis. An ethnography of belief, identity and change was discussed, as well as the relation between social position of the afterlife in Germany.
Jens Köhrsen – member of the CIRRuS team – presented some results of his recently completed field research on Religious tastes in modern religious markets: The example of Argentinean Pentecostalism. Most interestingly, Köhrsen explained differences in religious styles and tastes by reference to social positions and focused specially on the urban middle class.
Schäfer concluded the sessions with an additional paper on the Potentials of Bourdieu’s general theory for the study of religious praxis. He discussed epistemological premises of praxeological research – especially the relevance of neo-kantian relationism (Cassirer) – and introduced in CIRRuS’ “Habitus-Analysis” as a consequently relationist model for the research on cognitive operators of practical logic.
Within the framework of our research cooperation with the Universidade Metodista de São Paulo, in March and April, Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer was invited to Brazil for a guest professorship at the Religious Studies department of that university. In a post-graduate course on methodological aspects of Bourdieu’s social theory he taught especially the Bielefeld based advances in habitus analysis, thus presenting the headway made for the publication of a book on this topic. Additionally, he gave the ‘Aula Magna’-lecture at the opening of the new term of studies with the title of ‘Práxis Religiosa em Conflitos de Identidade: Aspectos Teóricos’ (Religious Praxis in identity conflicts: theoretical aspects). Besides establishing other contacts for future cooperation, Schäfer discussed newest findings with the São Paulo based research team on ‘Religion in the periphery’ and realized some explorative field research on Pentecostals under specific social conditions in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
On the occasion of the bestowal of the Bielefeld Science Award to Hans Joas, November 19th a scientific colloquium on the oeuvre of the sociologist was hosted and scientifically coordinated by the Bielefeld University, Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer, in cooperation with the Center for Interdisciplinary Research Forty high ranking social scientists, philosophers, religious scholars, and theologians discussed central themes of Joas' sociological and philosophical work under the keys of 'creativity', 'self transcendence', and 'conflict'. Four specific areas were addressed by special statements: 'Pragmatism' by Hermann Deuser, 'Normativity' by Lutz Wingert, 'Religion' by Hans G. Kippenberg, and 'War' by Wolfgang Knöbl.
On invitation of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer participated in a conference on "Religion in Disputes". Under the title of "Religions as Schemes of Meaning" he sketched how Habitus-Analysis can contribute to the understanding of the specific role of religion in escalating and de-escalating of disputes and conflicts.
On 21st of October Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer was invited by the New York University (Deutsches Haus) to participate in a panel discussion on "Religious Truth Claims and Liberal Democracy: Contribution or Contest?". After opening statements of each discussant, a multi-faceted debate opened among the participants Jose Casanova, Muqtedar Khan, Adrian Pabst, Marcia Pally, and Heinrich Schäfer. During the debate it became increasingly clear that liberal democracy cannot serve as the only framework for religious praxis or our political and economic policies, since itself is in constant danger of leaving the limits of legitimacy behind, as e.g. the war on Iraq has shown. On the other hand, religious praxis and ethical orientation - as it abstains from the pretense of absoluteness - may provide some material orientations for civil participation in democratic societies.
CIRRuS was represented by Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer and some members of his research team: Leif Seibert, Jens Köhrsen and Adrián Tovar.
Congreso 2010: América Latina (in)dependiente. La región en el contexto global, 1810-2010 (How (in)dependent is Latin America? The region in its global context, 1810-2010)
May, 27th to 29th
Eschborn (GtZ), Germany
At this conference Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer linked the CIRRuS activities up with the German community of research on Latin America, delivering a paper on "Religión e (in-) dependencia de América Latina: el continente y los actores religiosos transnacionales entre 1810 y 2010" (Religion and (in)dependence of Latin America: the continent and transnational religious actors between 1810 and 2010). The paper combines an historical analysis of the transformation of the religious field in Latin America with the focus on its changing patterns of transnational relations. It distinguishes three mayor stages that coincide to a certain extent with the development of the Latin American nation state (as exposed by José Bengoa on the same conference). 1) The definition of nationality by boundaries against and alliances with foreign powers: e.g. protestant liberals. 2) Projects of national cultural and political identity (indigenismo, Perón etc.): national Protestant and Pentecostal churches. 3) Latin Americans as protagonists in regional y transcontinental relations: transnational Pentecostal mission. A copy of the paper may be found within some weeks - after the kind allowance of ADLAF - as CIRRuS Prepublication paper on this website.
A talk about the Holy, the Profane and abuse in the Church following a visit at the exposition "The charm of rites" by Giorgia Fiori at c|o Galery in Berlin. Berliner Galerie c|o. auf 3Sat, Kulturzeit: 01.04.2010.
Impressions from the exposition .
"Camino - religions on their ways: In the name of the Holy Spirit" hr2-Kultur: "Camino - Religionen auf dem Weg. Im Namen des Heiligen Geistes - Das rasante Wachstum der Pfingstkirchen." 30.5.2010. more
"New power for life: Pentecostals and the heritage of Liberation Theology" Deutschlandradio Kultur: "Neue Kraft fürs Leben. Die Pfingstler und das Erbe der Befreiungstheologie am Beispiel Guatemalas." 22.5.2010. more
"God, prayer and politics: Pentecostalism in Guatemala is changing" Deutschlandradio Kultur: "Gott, Gebet und Politik. Die Pfingstbewegung in Guatemala verändert sich." 19.5.2010.more
Am Mittwoch den 02.06.2010 findet um 15.30 s.t. in H1 ein Gastvortrag von Dr. Charlotte Knobloch, der Präsidentin des Zentralrats der Juden in Deutschland, statt. "Zeitzeugen - Judenverfolgung im Nationalsozialismus". Herzliche Einladung!
Internationales Symposium Challenges of Education for Peace and Tolerance towards the "Other" hat im November 2009 unter der Tagesleitung von Prof. Dr. Dr. Ina Wunn stattgefunden. Das Programm als pdf hier herunterladen.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Heinrich Schäfer hat bei der International Conference on contemporary social research "Beyond Bourdieu - Habitus, Capital & Social Stratifaction" vom 1.- 2. Dezember 2009 an der Universität Copenhagen einen Vortrag zum Thema Habitus-Analysis: a methdo to analyze cognitive operators of practical logic gehalten. Der Vortrag [pdf] und das Programm [pdf] können hier eingesehen werden.
September 2, 2009 - New Research Project. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has granted the following project:
Analysis of the Semantics, Psychological and Sociological Correlates and Biographical Contexts of a Self-Attribution
This three-year project which starts November 1, 2009 is hosted in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Society (CIRRuS) / Research Center for Biographical Study of Contemporary Religion and cooperates with the Faculty for Psychology of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Prof. R. W. Hood). Project leader is Prof. Dr. H. Streib; Dr. B. Keller is primary researcher and coordinator of research in Bielefeld. More information...
On Wednesday, the 15th of July 2009, the former scientific assistant in our deparment, Prof. Dr. Carsten Gennerich has received his habilitation.
His thesis was titled “Der adoleszente Glaube im Erfahrungskontext dargestellt: Werte und Einstellungen Jugendlicher als Bezugsgrößen für theologisch-didaktische Reflexionen.“
Carsten Gennerich gave an inaugural lecture with the title „Bedingungsfaktoren interreligiöser Wahrnehmung und ihre Relevanz für die Gestaltung interreligiösen Lernens.“
See the cover of his thesis: PDF
Im Onlinekalender der Universität Uni.aktuell finden sie den ausführlichen Bericht.
Das halbjährige Magazin H1 der Uni Bielefeld informiert in seiner aktuellen Ausgabe über die vielseitigen Fragestellungen der Forscher dieser Homepage.
"Ist religiöses Denken und Handeln ausschließlich auf neurologische Prozesse reduzierbar? Welche Rolle spielt Religion in der Deeskalation von politischen und militärischen Konflikten? Welche Formen von religiöser Spiritualität verbinden sich mit Offenheit oder Verschlossenheit für Fremdes? Mit diesen und ähnlich spannenden Fragestellungen beschäftigt sich das CIRRuS der theologischen Abteilung..."
Hier können sie weiterlesen ... PDF
Streib, H., Hood, R. W., Keller, B., Csöff, R.-M., & Silver, C., 2009. Deconversion. Qualitative and Quantitative Results from Cross-Cultural Research in Germany and the United States of America. Research in Contemporary Religion, Vol 5, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht.
This book presents case studies and empirical data of a phenomenon which increasingly gains popularity in Western societies: deconversion. There is, the authors argue, no better word than deconversion to describe processes of disengagement from religious orientations, because these have much in common with conversion; Termination of membership may eventually be the final step of deconversion, but it involves biographical and psychological dynamics which can and need to be reconstructed by qualitative approaches and analyzed by quantitative instruments. This book presents the results of the Bielefeld-based Cross-Cultural Study on Deconversion. In this research project, disengagement processes from a variety of religious orientations in the U.S.A. and in Germany were examined, ranging from well-established religious organizations to new religious and fundamentalist groups. Nearly 1,200 persons participated in the study and were interviewed from 2002 to 2005. The main focus of the study is on 100 deconverts from the U.S.A. and from Germany who were examined with narrative interviews, faith development interviews and a questionnaire. For case study elaboration, the study followed a research design with an innovative triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data. Four chapters, corresponding to four types of deconversion, present 21 case studies. The highlights of the research project are new data on spirituality – the deconverts in particular appear to prefer a “more spiritual than religious” self-identification – and in-depth analyses of a variety of deconversion narratives with special focus on personality factors, motivation, attitudes, religious development, psychological well-being and growth, religious fundamentalism and right-wing authoritarianism. The results of this project which was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft are of special relevance for counseling and pastoral care, for religious education and for people concerned with administration and management of religious groups and churches, but also for a wider audience interested in contemporary changes in the religious fields in the U.S.A. and Germany.
For more information see the homepage of Vandenhoeck&Ruprecht.
How to order the Deconversion book in the U.S.A.? The most convenient way is through the distributor Eisenbrauns bookstore. To order you may follow this link: http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/STRDECONV.
This publication deals to some extend with the results of an international conference on Healing and Reconciliation after major Human Rights violations. The interest of the authors however lies with the role, the churches have played in the process of overcoming violence and hatred and what churches might do in similar cases. The case studies in point are taken from Guatemala, South Africa, Ireland, Germany, Cambodia. In providing the facts the book tries at the same time to serve as a study guide for the reader to involve with the question of recognition of pain through the process of active remembrance moving on to a process of reconciliation. It shows at the same time the problems involved in such road. Meditations, additional information on Human Rights in intercultural perspective add to a publication, which has been published in the context of the World Council of Churches “Decade to Overcome Violence” and as preparatory material in the process towards the Global Ecumenical Peace Convocation, Jamaica 2011. PDF
More information regarding CCIA, Churches Commission on International Affairs, being the department of the WCC working in the public and political sphere and among other dealing with conflict intervention.
The Programme “Decade to Overcome Violence” can be accessed via this Link.
H. Streib has participated in the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion which was held in Chicogo November 1 - 3, 2008. In a Wild Card Session, H. Streib has presented a paper which he had prepared and authors together with Ralph Hood (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) with the Title "Research on “Spirituality”: New Perspectives from Reconsidering the Classics on Religion".
This paper is available on this website: PDF
The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion celebrated its Annual Meeting 2008 form October 17th to 19th in Luisville, Kentucky, USA. The CIRRuS-Team presented on Friday 17th our ongoing research to international colleagues in the context of a special panel convened by Streib. Under the title of Diversity of Religious Praxis in Conflict and Peace – European Perspectives the following papers have been presented:
For abstracts see: PDF
As a result of the research project on fundamentalisms a book has been published in Suhrkamp editoral on World Religions. Announcement of the editorial house: download PDF; Table of contents: download PDF
The “Muslim Social Federation”, Bonn, donated some 500 volumes about Islam to the University of Bielefeld. [See newspaper]
Heinrich Schäfer was invited to a consultation of the “Red Latinoamericana de Estudios del Pentecostalismo”, a spearhead organization of Latin American Pentecostal researchers and intellectuals, in Santiago de Chile. Then he gave a lecture at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and attended the ongoing field research in Argentina. [pdf]