Study on religion and social cohesion in the time of the corona pandemic

By political scientist Carolin Hillenbrand

© Carolin Hillenbrand

The corona crisis touches on the central problem addressed by religion: namely, coping with contingency. Contingency is everything that is possible but not necessary – questions about why and wherefore, which arise especially in times of crisis like the current pandemic. What role does the religiosity or spirituality of individuals currently play in how they deal personally with the corona crisis? This is the question that we investigate in our study, which we are conducting together with an international research group (with scholars from Italy, Spain and Finland) and the “Research Institute for Social Cohesion” at the University of Leipzig. Besides religious attitudes and behaviour, the study also examines the key social and political dimensions that make up social cohesion (e.g. trust, identification, willingness to take responsibility, participation). The keyword “cohesion” is enjoying a boom at the moment – in the media, politics and society. But what is the real state of our cohesion at present? Are we moving closer together or are we drifting further apart? And what role does individual religiosity play in this – does it unite us or divide us? These are the questions that we aim to answer with our study.


Data have so far been collected in Spain, Italy and Finland, and now people in Germany are to be surveyed. For this purpose, an online questionnaire will be distributed as widely as possible.

To the questionnaire

We will be very happy to have a large number of participants – and please feel free to forward the link! Should you have any questions regarding the study, please contact Carolin Hillenbrand via e-mail: