Research project: Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion

The central theme and project during the second term of the platform was "Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion". The issue of religion's contribution to a possible new vision of Europe was the common thread and theme that ran through the platform's work.

The issue of religion's contribution to a possible new vision of Europe was the central theme of this project and the common thread that ran through the platform's work. At the centre of the project was the question of how genuine forms of knowledge and religious convictions may reshape the intellectual landscape of Europe. This raised the issue as to whether the European humanist perspective that finds expression in the idea of human rights, the (albeit precarious) social contract and the (equally eroding) basic democratic consensus is additionally jeopardised by religious validity claims or whether, on the contrary, religion can inspire a new culture of acknowledgement and offer alternative sources of meaning.
Related questions concern both Europe's and religion's ability to practice pluralism, as well as the configurations of what has often been described as the post-secular age. Does secularisation in this context amount to considering human beings, economy and society as mere mechanical objects, or does it 'humanise' the sacred with a view to human dignity? Can this dignity, in turn, be separated from any transcendent dimension? Do the traditional, institutionalised forms of religious communities still provide places where this transcendence can be experienced?
These questions were analysed from a theological, philosophical, juridical, and social science perspective within the framework of internal conferences, workshops with invited international scholars and joint publications.


Individuals contributing to this project: 


The following is a selection of the activities undertaken in the context of this project:

  • International Congress "Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion", February 2013. Details and Photos
  • Internal Congress I "Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion II", January 2014. Photos
  • Internal Congress II "Rethinking Europe with(out) Religion III", May 2014. Photos


Thematic collective volumes of the series "Religion and Transformation in Contemporary European Society":

  • Volume 1: Appel, Kurt / Danz, Christian / Potz, Richard / Rosenberger, Sieglinde / Walser, Angelika (eds.): Religion in Europa heute. Sozialwissenschaftliche, rechtswissenschaftliche und hermeneutisch-religionsphilosophische Perspektiven. V&R unipress, Göttingen 2012. Details
  • Volume 8: Appel, Kurt / Guanzini, Isabella / Walser, Angelika (eds.): Europa mit oder ohne Religion? Der Beitrag der Religion zum gegenwärtien und künftigen Europa. V&R unipress, Göttingen 2014. Details
  • Volume 10: Appel, Kurt / Guanzini, Isabella (eds.): Europa mit oder ohne Religion? II. V&R unipress, Göttingen 2016. Details