Religion and the Secular in Eastern Germany
Esther Peperkamp, Małgorzata Rajtar (eds.)
Year of publication
The radical process of religious change in East Germany poses a real challenge to social researchers. Common explanations view either the socialist past or larger scale processes of modernization to be the cause of East German secularization, but fail to address historical contingencies and individual agency. This book focuses on the interplay between local bureaucracies and individual lives. Contextualizing individual choices is essential in order to gain insight into how religious meaning is produced, reproduced, contested, discontinued, and disrupted. Bringing together the disciplines of anthropology, history, political science, and sociology, what unites the articles is their qualitative approach. The collection of articles lays out an impressive mosaic of the religious and the secular in the GDR and contemporary eastern Germany.