Prof. Dr. Dr. Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer

Main Areas of Research

  • Religion and social unequality, especially the Pentecostal movement in the Third World
  • Religion and violence, especially identity driven conflicts, such as Bosnia
  • Theory of religion
  • Latin America
  • Pierre Bourdieu

Selected Books

Habitus-Analysis 1. Epistemology and Language. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2015, 396 p. Web:

Identität als Netzwerk. Habitus, Sozialstruktur und religiöse Mobilisierung. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2015, 738 p. (

Edited: Hans Joas in der Diskussion. Kreativität – Selbsttranszendenz – Gewalt. Frankfurt: Campus, 2012, 168 p.

Kampf der Fundamentalismen. Radikales Christentum, radikaler Islam und Europas zweite Moderne. Frankfurt 2008.

Praxis – Theologie – Religion: Grundlinien einer Theologie- und Religionstheorie im Anschluss an Pierre Bourdieu. Frankfurt 2004.

Existe mi mamá porque yo existo? Ensayos sobre el sujeto, la ética y la rebelión. San José (FLACSO) 1999.

Protestantismus in Zentralamerika. Frankfurt 1992.

Protestantismo y crisis social en América Central. San José (DEI) 1992

Church Identity between Repression and Liberation. Geneva (WARC) 1990.

For a detailed list, click [here]



2002, Bochum, Habil. theol. (Systematik), Ruhr-Universität

2002, Berlin, Dr. phil. (rer. soc.), Humboldt-Universität

1991, Bochum, Dr. theol. (Systematik-ökumene), Ruhr-Universität

Employment and Research

2011 to 2012 Research Fellowship at Lichtenberg Kolleg, University of Göttingen.

Since 2006 Professor for Protestant Theology and Sociology of Religion at the University of Bielefeld, Germany.

2003 to 2006 assistant professor (Lehrbeauftragter) for religious studies at the University of Hanover, Germany.

Between 1995 and 2003 professor for Systematic Theology and Social Sciences (emphasis on religion) at Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana, Costa Rica, as well as professor of Religious and Cultural Science at the Universidad Nacional, San José, Costa Rica. In this context, frequent lectures and research in different Latin American countries with strong interdisciplinary and intercultural feature.

Between 1998 and 2003, participation in an international working group on religion and globalization,Chateau de Bossey, World Council of Churches, Geneva.

From 1992 to 1994 assistant professor (Lehrbeauftragter) for ecumenical theology at Ruhr-Universität, Bochum.

From 1989 to 1994 in service of Protestant Church of Westfalia.

1983, 1985 and 1986 field studies on religious movements (with emphasis on Pentecostalism) in the Central American civil wars based on the sociology of Bourdieu.

Between 1980 and 2003 different activities in international development cooperation.

Detailed CV as (PDF)

Membership in scientific associations


  • German Society for Religious Studies (DVRW)
  • German Society for Sociology (DGS)
  • German Society for Latin American Studies (ADLAF)
  • International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR)
  • Research Network on Religion and Conflict (FVRK)
  • Interdisciplinary Research Group on Pentecostalism (IAK Pfingstbewegung)
  • European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism (GloPent)
  • Latin American Network for Pentecostal Studies (RELEP)


  • Journal PentecoStudies, member of the board, social science section
  • CEEP Ediciones, Chile, specialized in literature by and about the Pentecostal movement in Latin America
  • Journal Cultura y Religión, Chile, member of the editorial board


Phone: 0521-106-3378 or -3380

Universität Bielefeld
Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaft, Philosophie und Theologie
Abteilung Theologie
Postfach 10 01 31
33501 Bielefeld