On the Construction of Religious and Cultural Identities: Muslims in Rhineland-Palatinate

The research project intends to lay the foundations of an expanded DFG-Project. Taking into consideration the fact that more than 3 million Muslims live in Germany, it is surprising to note the scarcity of research on the topic of Islam in Germany: Their is no research on the plurality of Islamic identities in Germany. Nearly all studies examine exclusively Turkish Islam in Germany. Black African Islam, German Islam, Arabic Islam etc. and their mutual transformations are mainly ignored.
Problems of inter-culturality, not only between the predominantly Christian society and minorities, but also among the Muslim minorities themselves, are not dealt with.
The envisaged DFG-Project aims at analysing the processes of constructing religious and cultural identities, taking as an example Muslims in Rhineland-Palatinate (Bad Kreuznach, Mainz and Ludwigshafen - all cities with a relative diversity of Muslims from various countries and orientations).

Duration of Funding: 2002-2003
Zusätzlich gefördert durch das Bundesministerium des Innern (BMI)

Dr. Jörn Thielmann (Geographie)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Bierschenk (Ethnologie)
PD Dr. Franz-Christoph Muth (Orientkunde)

Thielmann, Jörn (2004): The Shaping of Islamic Field in Europe – illustrated by two case studies. In: Muslims and Islam in Europe: Towards a European Islam? Hrsg. von Armando Salvatore und Sigrid Nökel. Münster. (= Yearbook of the Sociology of Islam, Bd. 6)

Thielmann, Jörn (2003): Challenged Positions, Shifting Authorities: Muslim Communities in a Small Town in South-West Germany. Paper presented at the Fourth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting, Florence & Montecatini Terme 19 – 23 March 2003, organised by the Mediterranean Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute (in Workshop 3 The Production of Islamic Knowledge in Western Europe. (pdf)