Conference: Religious Pluralisation – A Challenge for Modern Societies

Travel Grants available! The challenges of religious pluralization and the contribution to be made by interreligious dialogue in the areas of societal and scientific discourse will be discussed at the Herrenhausen Conference on October 4-6, 2016, in Hanover.

4th World Day of Prayer for Peace, Assisi (Italy), 2011 (Photo: Stephan Kölliker)

4th World Day of Prayer for Peace, Assisi (Italy), 2011 (Photo: Stephan Kölliker)

The long-held belief in the secularization thesis and the subsequent expectation that religion would gradually lose its societal relevance in public and scientific discourse led to religion being treated rather as a side issue. This has changed fundamentally in the wake of growing religious pluralization. In this respect, both the destructive potential of religion as well as initiatives designed to promote understanding between people of different religions and worldviews play a significant role. In view of these ambivalences, a need has arisen for clarification in the area of societal as well as scientific discourse. The planned conference will debate the challenges of religious pluralization and the contribution to be made by interreligious dialogue in five thematic areas – theology, politics/civil society, education, Communication/media and contexts. The aim of the conference is to describe innovative scientific approaches and broad political and social scopes of action for addressing religious plurality.

Herrenhausen Conference: “Religious Pluralisation – A Challenge for Modern Societies”
October 4-6, 2016
Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, Germany


The program for the Herrenhausen Conference on “Religious Pluralisation – A Challenge for Modern Societies” can be found in the column on the right. All speakers and chairs have confirmed their participation.

Session 1: Religion and Dialogue in Different Contexts

Public Lecture: Toward a New Paradigm for Religion in a Pluralist Age

Session 2: Community Building and Policymaking in European Perspectives 

Session 3: Contribution of Religious Education to Dialogue and Integration

Session 4: The Relevance of Interreligious Dialogue in the Public Sphere

Forum on Dialogical Theology 

Session 5: Interreligious Communication and the Role of Media

Perspectives of Further Research in the Field of Interreligious Dynamics 


If you would like to attend the conference, please register by clicking on the registration link in the column on the right. There are no fees for attendance but registration is essential.


Please cancel your registration if you cannot attend the conference. We have a waiting list for the meeting and can offer your place to another person if you cannot attend. Simply use the registration tool to cancel or send us an email.


The conference language is English.

Travel Grants

The Volkswagen Foundation offers up to 30 Travel Grants for young researchers who wish to attend the conference. We are inviting Ph.D. students or early Postdocs (max. 5 years since Ph.D.) working on independent and challenging projects in the field of religious pluralization or in a field for which religious pluralisation is crucial to apply for a travel grant. Applicants are required to apply until March 30, 2016 by using the application form. The travel grant covers attendance, accommodation and travel expenses (excl. cab fares, parking, food and beverages while travelling as well as poster printing costs).

Venue and public transport

The conference is held at Herrenhausen Palace, a new conference center in Hanover, Germany. You can reach the venue by tram: Take line 4 or 5 and get off at “Herrenhäuser Gärten”.