New Book on Religious Policy Today: “Religionspolitik heute”

Overview volume unites religious political positions from academics, politics and religious and philosophical communities in Germany – Contributions to fundamental questions of religious policy, current conflicts and possible solutions

© Verlag Herder

“Religionspolitik heute” is a new overview volume on religious policy today in Germany from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion und Politik”. It combines religious political analyses and positions from academics, politics and religious and philosophical communities for the first time. The editors, political scientist Prof. Dr. Ulrich Willems and publicist Viola van Melis from the Cluster of Excellence and historian Dr. Daniel Gerster from the University of Münster’s Center for Religion and Modernity, write that “politics in Germany has for decades neglected the field of religious policy”. The volume with the subtitle “Problemfelder und Perspektiven in Deutschland” (Problem Areas and Perspectives in Germany) has been published by Herder Verlag.

“Whether headscarves or crucifixes, the building of mosques, religious slaughtering or circumcision, whether church labour law, church tax or religious instruction: many conflicts have been left to the courts – also due to a lack of forums and procedures for a structured forming of opinion in politics and society,” according to the editors. The religious church landscape in Germany has undergone massive changes in the process, the need for political regulation being unmistakable: “How do we intend, in the future, to regulate the peaceful coexistence of religious majorities, religious minorities and those who are unaffiliated with any religion? How can we give them equal religious freedom? Is the specifically German, historically developed model of close state-church cooperation suitable for this?” The volume discusses fundamental questions of religious policy as well as current conflicts and possible solutions. It can thus help to be less unprepared when stumbling into religious political conflicts in the future. (exc/maz)

Reference: Gerster, Daniel; van Melis, Viola; Willems, Ulrich (eds.), Religionspolitik heute. Problemfelder und Perspektiven in Deutschland , Freiburg: Herder 2018.