Xenosophy and Xenophobia within and between Abrahamic Religions.

Social, personal and religious causes for xenophile and xenophobic structures in interreligious relations.

In this research project we are concerned with xenosophical and xenophobic (appreciation or rejection of the Other) attitudes and behaviour patterns. We are interested in the interplay of social, personal and religious factors that influence Xenosophy and Xenophobia. In doing so, we also want to contribute to the development of intervention strategies that promote mutual appreciation between religions and world views and reduce xenophobic attitudes and behaviour patterns.

The religious landscape in Switzerland is becoming more diverse: an increasing number of atheists and Muslims live alongside and with a Jewish minority and a decreasing Christian majority. Swiss people with all these different worldviews, with and without a migration background, are asked about their positive and negative attitudes towards people from other religions. In the search for possible causes, the project places special emphasis on the very differentiated consideration of religious factors: psychological characteristics such as religiosity, fundamentalism but also pluralism are taken into account as well as sociological factors such as religious affiliation. In addition, non-religious factors are also taken into account, such as personality traits, value attitudes or socio-economic status.

In addition to answering questions in an online questionnaire, unconscious attitudes are also surveyed with the help of a reaction time measurement. For more in-depth findings, selected study participants will be asked in a personal interview about their inter-religious experiences, especially with Islam.

For further information, please visit our detailed project page.


9.-10. Oktober 2014, International Islamophobia-Conference „Comparative approaches to studying Islamophobia“, Salzburg

Silvia Martens: Vortrag: Religious xenophobia in Europe — data from 2013 Religion Monitor

11.-14. September 2013, DVRW-Tagung „Empirie und Theorie. Religionswissenschaft zwischen Gegenstandsorientierung und systematischer Reflexion“ in Göttingen

Silvia Martens: Vortrag: Xenophobie und Xenosophie in der Begegnung mit religiös Anderen

28.-30. Juni 2013, 26. Jahrestagung des Forums Friedenspsychologie Opium fürs Volk oder Hort sicherer Bindung: Zur Rolle von Religion internationalen und innergesellschaftlichen Konflikten in Bremen

Stefan Huber: Keynote adress: Opium, secure attachment, and much more. The opposing roles of religion in the perspective of a psychological model of religiosity
Stefan Huber, Silvia Martens & Anna-Konstanze Schröder: Panel: Understanding religious fundamentalism
Stefan Huber, Silvia Martens & Anna-Konstanze Schröder: Vortrag: Religious fundamentalism – theoretical approaches, empirical operationalization, and spreading in 23 countries
Anna-Konstanze Schröder, Stefan Huber & Silvia Martens: Vortrag: Fundamentalism and religious reflexivity – or: dismantling the scientifically supported stigma of fundamentalists
Silvia Martens, Stefan Huber & Anna-Konstanze Schröder: Vortrag: Religious fundamentalism of Muslims in diverse societal contexts