Xenosophia and Xenophobia in Germany

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 comparison, xenophobic and xenosophic attitudes between the three Abrahamic Religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam, using surveys and experimental research methods. The psychological, sociological and biographical contexts of the attitudes are of high interest as quantitatively and qualitatively investigated correlates and predictors, e. g. basic value orientations or the centrality of religiosity in one's personality. Special attention deserves the assessment of the attitudes towards the distinct religious traditions as outcomes. Furthermore, religious schemata are assessed, which are hypothesized to function as mediators for xenophobic and xenosophic attitudes. Research participants in Germany are invited to complete in an Internet-based study which contains a questionnaire and an experimental psychological task. Out of the sample, a subsample of n=30 has been invited to participate in a personal interview which attends to biography and faith development.

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 counselling, 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 fields of practice.

The Projekt is financed by funds of the German Research Association (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).


Team Xenosophie und Xenophobie


Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Heinz Streib; Primary Researcher: Constantin Klein; Research assistant: Ramona Bullik


For further details visit the following sites...



Streib, H. & Klein, C. (2014). Religious Styles Predict Inter-religious Prejudice: A study of German adolescents with the Religious Schema Scale. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 24(2), 151-163. (PDF)

Streib, Heinz, Ralph W., Jr. Hood, and Constantin Klein. (2010). The Religious Schema Scale: Construction and Initial Validation of a Quantitative Measure for Religious Styles. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 20(3), 151 - 172. (PDF)

Streib, H. (2006). Strangeness in Inter-Religious Classroom Communication: Research on the 'Gift-to-the-Child' Material. In: Bates, Dennis, Durka, Gloria & Schweitzer, Friedrich (Eds.). Religion, Reconciliation and Inclusion in a Pluralistic World. Essays in Religious Education and Practical Theology in Honour of John M. Hull. (pp. 191-204). London: Routledge (PDF)

Streib,H. (2005). Wie finden interreligiöse Lernprozesse bei Kindern und Jugendlichen statt? Skizze einer xenosophischen Religionsdidaktik. In: Schreiner, Peter, Elsenbast, Volker & Sieg, Ursula (Eds.). Handbuch Interreligiöses Lernen (pp. 230-243). Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus (PDF)

Streib,H. (2001). Inter-Religious Negotiations: Case Studies on Students' Perception of and Dealing with Religious Diversity. In: Heimbrock, Hans-Günter, Scheilke, Christoph Th. & Schreiner, Peter, (Eds.). Towards Religious Competence. Diversity as a Challenge for Education in Europe (pp. 129-149). Münster: Comenius-Institut. (PDF)