9-11 June 2022, Münster
9-11 June 2022, Münster

Interim Conference: The transmission of religion across generations: a comparative international study of continuities and discontinuities in family socialization

Collaborative event of the WUU Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, the Center for Religion and Modernity, and the John Templeton Foundation

Empirical findings show that institutional religiosity and religious practice have been steadily declining in most European countries (and more recently in the US and Canada, too) since the 1960s. While there is a large body of evidence to suggest that the decline in church religiosity is due mainly to intergenerational change (with one generation being less religious than the previous), there is also a general lack of detailed knowledge about how this change actually happens. In addition, the conditions in which religious and non-religious worldviews are passed on through generations have rarely been the object of international comparative study.

The research project funded by the John Templeton Foundation aims to understand the transmission of religiosity and non-religiosity across generations in Europe and Canada. In short, it anticipates being able to provide a better explanation of religious change itself, and a more precise theory of religious change across generations.

The research project focuses on the following three questions: How does the transmission or non-transmission of faith, values and worldviews take place within families and across generations? What are the main factors in the successful (or non-successful) transmission of faith in different cultural contexts? How does religiosity change in the process of transmission?

Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, a group of international researchers will present and discuss findings from five countries: Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, and Italy. In addition, findings from the U.S. partner project “Pro-Social Values and Spirituality in the Absence of Religion Among Millennials and their Families” will be presented.


  • Information & Registration

    Location: Lecture hall, JO 101, Johannisstraße 1, 48143 Münster, Germany

    Registrate via e-mail:



    Information taking into account the current infection situation (SARS-CoV-2)

    From June 1 on no COVID restrictions apply for those entering the country. Visitors no longer need proof that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested.

    See Main updates

    “1 June 2022: As of 1 June the requirements to register before entry, provide a negative test result and to quarantine only applies to travellers who have stayed in an area of variant of concern.”We would nevertheless kindly ask you to get tested after your arrival (free of charge for German citizens, find test centers).
    We will provide a number of self tests for our international guests.

    The University of Münster strongly urges us to continue wearing face masks (medical or FFP2) in all University buildings in order to protect each other from infection. Please wear a mask in the conference room until you take your seat.

    1. Teststelle am Domplatz, Domplatz 31
    WED: 07:30-19:00
    THU: 07:30-13:00 & 15.00-19.00
    2. Corona Testzentrum Am Rosenplatz (Pinkus Müller Brauerei)
    MON-THU 08:00-20:00
    3. Testzentrum am Bült, Am Bült 13, Hörster Parkplatz
    MON-THU 08:00-20:00
    4. Testcentrum am Hauptbahnhof, Berliner Platz 29
    WED: 06:30-12:00 & 12:30-21:00 & 21:30-23:00
    THU: 06:30-12:30 & 13:00-20:30


    Map with Hotels

    © Stadt Münster
  • Programme

    Thursday, 9 June 2022

    14:00 – 14:30 Welcome and Introduction
    Christel Gärtner, Münster

    14:30 – 16:30 Patterns and dynamics of transmission in Germany
    Chair: Alyshea Cummins, Ottawa
    Presentations: Christel Gärtner, Olaf Müller, Linda Hennig, Chiara Porada, Johannes Eberl (Münster)
    Comment: Detlef Pollack, Münster

    17:00 – 19:00 Patterns and dynamics of transmission in Hungary
    Chair: Giulia Marroccoli, Turin
    Presentations: Gergely Rosta, Zsuzsanna Szvetelszky, Virág Sövegjártó (Budapest)
    Comment: David Voas, London

    Friday, 10 June 2022

    10:00 – 12:00 Patterns and dynamics of transmission in Italy
    Chair: Laura Kallatsa, Eastern Finland
    Presentations: Roberta Ricucci, Luca Bossi, Renzo Carriero; Marcello Cabria, Giulia Marroccoli, Francesco Molteni, Ferruccio Biolcati (Turin)
    Comment: Jörg Stolz, Lausanne

    12:00 Lunch

    13:00 – 15:00 Patterns and dynamics of transmission in Canada
    Chair: Linda Hennig, Münster
    Presentations: Peter Beyer, Alyshea Cummins, Jacob Legault-Leclair, Isaac Friesen (Ottawa)
    Comment: Lori Beaman, Ottawa

    15:30 – 17:30 Patterns and dynamics of transmission in Finland
    Chair: Zsuzsanna Szvetelszky, Budapest
    Presentations: Kati Tervo-Niemelä, Jenni Spännäri, Laura Kallatsa (Eastern Finland)
    Comment: Per Pettersson, Karlstad

    19:00 Reception

    Saturday, 11 June 2022

    10:00 – 12:00 Religiosity of parents and grandparents as contributors to pro-social values in young adults
    Chair: Jenni Spännäri, Eastern Finland
    Presentation: Merril Silverstein, Syracuse
    Comment: Christel Manning, Fairfield

    12:00 Lunch

    13:00 – 14:00 Closing Discussion



  • Papers

    Please register in order to have access to the conference papers.

  • Recent publications out of the project

    Secularity as a Point of Reference by Christel Gärtner