Love Thy Neighbor: Exploring Religious and Social Openness among Prospective Theologians in Germany and Turkey

Demmrich, Sarah; Aglikaya-Sahin, Zuhal; Senel, Abdulkerim

Research article (journal)


Amidst increasing globalization and religious diversity, acknowledging and embracing n openness towards religious and/or cultural others has become crucial for societal cohesion and international relations. Theological scholars, holding significant potential in mitigating inter-religious and intercultural prejudices, can play a pivotal role in addressing this challenge. However, it is acknowledged that theologians themselves may harbor such biases. This study, conducted within the framework of the Religious Openness Hypothesis, employed an online questionnaire among theology students, seen as future multipliers of religiosity, in Germany and Turkey (N = 513) using convenience sampling. The results reveal the consistent relation of religiosity to all forms of prejudice among German Christians, with a linked defense against secularism potentially leading to self-isolation and the protection of their own worldview against religious or cultural outgroups. In contrast, the (generally high) prejudice among Turkish Muslims appears to be rooted not primarily in religiosity or defense against secularism but in fundamentalism and, most likely, in other socio-cultural factors such as politics and education. For both subsamples, religiosity was positively linked with xenosophia, particularly when accounting for fundamentalism. The article concludes by proposing curriculum implications for universities and schools in both cultural contexts.

Details zur Publikation

Release year: 2024
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish
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