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Xenosophia und Xenophobia in and between Abrahamic Religions. Social, Personal and Religious Causes of Xenosophic and Xenophobic Patterns in Inter-Religious Relations

English title Xenosophia und Xenophobia in and between Abrahamic Religions. Social, Personal and Religious Causes of Xenosophic and Xenophobic Patterns in Inter-Religious Relations
Applicant Huber Stefan
Number 153528
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Theologische Fakultät Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Religious studies, Theology
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019
Approved amount 367'447.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Religious studies, Theology
Psychology

Keywords (9)

Interreligious dialogue; Atheism; Implicit Association Test; Abrahamic Religions; Switzerland; Xenophobia; Centrality of Religiosity; Islamophobia; Xenosophia

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Beziehungen zwischen Menschen mit unterschiedlicher religiöser Zugehörigkeit können sowohl von Wertschätzung und wechselseitiger Achtung als auch von Feindseligkeit und Gewalt geprägt sein. Im Projekt wird untersucht, wie wertschätzende Beziehungen gefördert und feindselige Beziehungen verhindert werden können.
Lay summary

Die religiöse Landschaft in der Schweiz wird vielfältiger: Auf der einen Seite nimmt die Mitgliedschaft der beiden grossen Landeskirchen ab. Auf der anderen Seite wachsen sowohl kleinere christliche Kirchen als auch andere, insbesondere islamische Religionsgemeinschaften. Daneben nimmt besonders stark die Gruppe der Konfessionslosen zu. Durch die fortschreitende religiöse Pluralisierung wächst sowohl die Gefahr von Konflikten zwischen Anhängern verschiedener Religionen als auch zwischen religiösen und atheistischen Gruppen. Das ist insbesondere dann der Fall, wenn dem religiös Anderen feindselig (xenophob) begegnet wird. Dies ist jedoch vermeidbar, da in vielen Religionen und Weltanschauungen Potentiale für respektvolle und wertschätzende Begegnungen mit dem religiös Anderen (Xenosophie) vorhanden sind. Vor diesem Hintergrund erforschen wir, wie in interreligiösen Begegnungen xenophobe Haltungen verhindert und Xenosophie gefördert werden können. Dabei untersuchen wir insbesondere drei mögliche Einflussfaktoren:

  • Persönlichkeit (z.B. Ängstlichkeit) und biografischer Erfahrungen.
  • Soziale und demografische Faktoren wie z.B. Alter, Geschlecht, Bildung und Migrationshintergrund.
  • Religiöse Faktoren. Dabei unterscheiden wir zwischen der persönlichen Bedeutung der Religiosität (Zentralität) und ihrer inhaltlichen Ausrichtung.

Befragt werden reformierte, katholische, orthodoxe und freikirchliche ChristInnen, MuslimInnen sowie AtheistInnen und Konfessionslose. Das Forschungsteam ist interdisziplinär zusammengesetzt und integriert psychologische, soziologische, religionswissenschaftliche, islamwissenschaftliche und theologische Perspektiven.

Durch das Projekt versuchen wir einen Beitrag zum religiösen Frieden in der Schweiz zu leisten. Daher werden die Ergebnisse nicht nur in wissenschaftlichen Artikeln publiziert, sondern auch in allgemeinverständlicher Form Funktionsträgern in Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften sowie in Staat, Politik und Wirtschaft zugänglich gemacht

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 24.10.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The Relevance of the Centrality and Content of Religiosity for Explaining Islamophobia in Switzerland
Yendell Alexander, Huber Stefan (2020), The Relevance of the Centrality and Content of Religiosity for Explaining Islamophobia in Switzerland, in Religions, 11(3), 129.
Negative views of Islam in Switzerland with special regard to religiosity as an explanatory factor
Yendell Alexander, Huber Stefan (2020), Negative views of Islam in Switzerland with special regard to religiosity as an explanatory factor, in Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik, 1-23.
Does Religiosity matter? Explaining right-wing extremist attitudes and the vote for the Alternative for Germany (AfD)
Huber Stefan, Yendell Alexander (2019), Does Religiosity matter? Explaining right-wing extremist attitudes and the vote for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), in Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe, 15(2), 63-85.
Wisdom Gained in the Encounter with Others.Xenosophia and the Religious Pluralization in Switzerland
Schröder Anna-Konstanze, Martens Silvia (2017), Wisdom Gained in the Encounter with Others.Xenosophia and the Religious Pluralization in Switzerland, in Studies in Interreligious Dialogue, 27(2), 53-76.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Bielefeld, CIRRuS (Center for the interdisciplinary Research on Religion and Socienty) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Abteilung für Religions- und Kirchensoziologie, Universität Leipzig Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Der Jude als ewiges Feindbild? (Neue) Dimensionen des Antisemitismus heute Talk given at a conference Antisemitismus bei Christen undMuslimen 17.09.2020 Kloster Banz, Germany Yendell Alexander;
Religion & Vorurteil -Tagung des Arbeitskreises Quantitative Religionsforschung Talk given at a conference Negative views on Islam in Switzerland with special regard to religiosity as an explanatory factor 05.12.2019 Leipzig, Germany Yendell Alexander; Huber Stefan;
10th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland in Lausanne Talk given at a conference Opening the black box of religiosity: the core dimensions, attitudes, self-concepts, and centrality of religiosity 05.06.2019 Lausanne, Switzerland Huber Stefan;
10th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland in Lausanne Talk given at a conference What best explains (changes in) attitudes towards Islam in Switzerland? 05.06.2019 Lausanne, Switzerland Yendell Alexander;
16th Annual Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions Talk given at a conference Threatening or enriching encounters: Xenophobia and Xenosophia between Christians, Jews and Muslims in Switzerland 18.06.2018 Bern, Switzerland Martens Silvia; Schröder Anna-Konstanze;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Religiöser Glaube und Rechtsextremismus 45 Veröffentlichungen in Radio, TV, Print- und Onlinemedien Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland Western Switzerland International Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Religiosität kann vor Rechtsextremismus schützen Online-Magazin der Universität Bern German-speaking Switzerland 2020

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
163880 Religion and patterns of social and economic organization. Elective affinity between religion and economy in Christian denominations in Switzerland and Russia 01.01.2017 Bilateral programmes

Abstract

The proposed project investigates xenophobic and xenosophic attitudes andbehavioral patterns of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and atheists inSwitzerland. Xenosophia is characterized by positive attitudes towardsothers, xenophobia by negative attitudes. The project aims to provide anin-depth understanding of the religious, social, and personal factorsinfluencing xenosophia and xenophobia in an increasingly heterogeneous andreligiously diverse society. Its results are of high practical relevance asthey will enable us to identify possible intervention strategies tocounteract xenophobic and foster xenosophic tendencies.The project is based on two models, Duckitt's Dual -Process model explainingAntisemitism and Islamophobia with different mechanisms, and Huber's modelof religiosity, allowing for the differentiated investigation of variousfacets of religiosity and their interactions, thus opening the 'black box'of religiosity.The research design distinguishes between religious and nonreligiousvariables, and differentiates in both categories between social and personalvariables. A distinctive feature of this study is that not only explicitindicators or survey questions are employed but also an implicit measure(Implicit Association Test, IAT). Implicit measures are more robust againstthe respondents' expectations, e.g. social desirability. An online survey will investigate 1800 individuals in the urban region ofZurich. Zurich with its high religious diversity, with large migrantcommunities of Muslim groups, Christian migrant minorities, Free Churches,as well as the largest Swiss Jewish community, allows best for the controlof migrant status and minority status in any area of Switzerland. We haveestablished cooperations with migrant and religious groups facilitating therecruitment. Complementary to the quantitative measures, twenty qualitativein-depth interviews will be conducted. The primary purpose is theexploration of biographical patterns of xenosophic and xenophobic attitudes.These interviews will focus on attitudes towards Islam and Muslims. Researchthereon focused on religious interpretative patterns is scarce while thetopic's societal relevance is undisputed. Interviewees are selected withtheoretical sampling targeting specific subgroups from the participants ofthe quantitative survey. We cooperate with a project also investigating xenosophia and xenophobia inBielefeld where data collection has begun. The Bielefeld project applies asubset of our measurement instruments to a random sample thus allowing forcomparative analyses. In contrast to this project, we have extendedtheoretical and empirical approaches. Theoretically, we base our project onthe religiosity model of Huber allowing for a more thorough analysis of theeffects of religious contents. The project includes Duckitt's Dual-Processmodel with the measurement of theoretically relevant variables likereligious emotions. Empirically, our sampling represents religious andethnic minorities with a higher weight , allowing for a more detailedexplication of effects of minority and migration status. We expect thisextended approach to gain additional insight in the researched phenomena.Information activities for the public and for Swiss stakeholders will allowfor the implementation of the results.
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