Religion and Identity in Germany Today

Doubters, Believers, Seekers in Literature and Film

by Julian Preece (Volume editor) Frank Finlay (Volume editor) Sinéad Crowe (Volume editor)
©2010 Conference proceedings VIII, 252 Pages


In German-speaking Europe, as in other parts of the western world, questions of religious identity have been discussed with sudden urgency since the attacks of ‘9/11’. Nowhere was this clearer than in the heated controversy over the building of a mosque in the city of Cologne, which is the subject of Michael Hofmann’s contribution to this volume. Turkish Germans have also found themselves defined by the religious background of their parents. For different reasons German Jews have faced pressure to reconnect with a religion that their forbears cast off sometimes more than a century ago. At the same time religious belief among the nominally Christian majority has been in retreat. These changes have generated poetry, drama, and fiction as well as a number of films by both well-known and emerging authors and filmmakers. Their works sometimes reflect but more often challenge debates taking place in politics and the media. The essays in this volume explore a range of genres which engage with religion in contemporary Germany and Austria. They show that literature and film express nuances of feeling and attitude that are eclipsed in other, more immediately influential discourses. Discussion of these works is thus essential for an understanding of the role of religion in forming identity in contemporary multicultural German-speaking societies. This volume contains eight chapters in English and six in German.


VIII, 252
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2011 (March)
German Language and Literature Theatre, Film, Television Studies Turkish Germans History of Religions
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. VIII, 252 pp.

Biographical notes

Julian Preece (Volume editor) Frank Finlay (Volume editor) Sinéad Crowe (Volume editor)

Julian Preece is Professor of German at Swansea University. He is the author of books on Günter Grass (2001/04) and Veza Canetti (2007). Frank Finlay is Professor of German at the University of Leeds. An expert on Heinrich Böll, he has also published widely on post-1989 German literary writing. Sinéad Crowe teaches in the School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts at Queen’s University Belfast. Her current research examines the place of religion in contemporary German theatre and drama.


Title: Religion and Identity in Germany Today