Religious diversity

Authored by: Volkhard Krech

The Routledge Handbook of German Politics & Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415686860
eBook ISBN: 9781315747040
Adobe ISBN: 9781317600152


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Europe is an exceptional continent on the world religious map, and Germany illustrates that exceptionality. The other continents have historically been dynamic and very diverse in religious terms: in Africa, for example, Christianity and Islam exist alongside indigenous religions, while in Asia, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities coexist with Hindu religions, Buddhism, and traditional Chinese religion. Europe, by contrast, has long been dominated by Christianity; and yet the religious landscape, including in Germany, has always been more colourful than it seems. A recent growth in religiosity without formal religious affiliation, alongside the increased visibility of smaller religious communities, has made this diversity more visible. It has been further enhanced by immigration, the emergence of new religions, and the establishment of divergent theological currents within the mainline Christian churches.

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