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Dr James Hodkinson discusses religion in Germany on BBC Radio 4

Dr James Hodkinson, Associate Professor in German and Dr Silke Horstkotte, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in German Studies from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures discuss the place of religion in modern Germany on the Beyond Belief programme on BBC Radio 4.

As President Obama joins Angela Merkel to celebrate the Reformation 500 Anniversary, Ernie Rea is joined by Warwick academics to discuss the religious climate in Germany.

Dr Hodkinson said, “It is quite significant that two major political parties have the word Christian within them, the Christian democratic union and the Bavarian sister party. I would also like to highlight the importance of the growing Muslim population since the Syrian influx over the last couple of years.”

The Reformation left Germany with a predominantly Catholic South and Protestant North; but today the scene is much more nuanced. The legacy of Communism means that religious affiliation in the former DDR is much lower than in the West; the number of Muslims in Germany now nudges five million, following the recent arrival of Syrian refugees, and debates around Islam and multi-culturalism are likely to play a prominent part in elections later this year.

The discussion has been further fuelled by Dr Hodkinson’s Transnationalizing Faith research project. A multi-dimensional outreach project, which takes key aspects of research into Islam in German history and culture (1770-1918).

Dr Hodkinson said, “One part of the project reaches out into schools, were it impacts and enriches the delivery of the Key Stage 4 and 5 curriculum across a number of subjects, and also underpins a sequence of community events and projects designed to promote sociability, integration, dialogue and more nuanced mutual understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in towns and cities across the UK.”

Listen to the discussion on BBC iPlayer here:

Beyond belief

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