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Religion and Identity in Germany Today

Doubters, Believers, Seekers in Literature and Film


Edited By Julian Ernest Preece, Frank Finlay and Sinéad Crowe

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.


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Acknowledgements vii JULIAN PREECE AND FRANK FINLAY Introduction 1 MONA KÖRTE ‚Ein bißchen Aleph’: Jüdische Religion und religiöse Praxis zwischen Renaissance und Musealisierung 7 MATTHIAS UECKER Belief, Ritual and Identity: Performances of Jewishness in Contemporary German Cinema 25 ANDREA REITER Das ‚Ende der Nachkriegszeit’ im Werk von Anna Mitgutsch 47 STUART PARKES A Clear-Cut Case? Martin Walser and the Charge of Anti-Semitism 65 STEFAN NEUHAUS ‚In dieser Gegend gibt es keinen Gott’: Religion in der ‚postmodernen’ Literatur am Beispiel von Helmut Krausser, Hape Kerkeling und Felicitas Hoppe 83 AXEL SCHALK Gott heißt Elvis Presley: Zur religiösen Motivik in der zeitgenössischen deutschen Prosa 99 vi ROBERT GILLETT Snatching a Brand from the Burning: Possibilities of Transcendence in Thomas Rosenlöcher’s Flockenkarussell 117 SINÉAD CROWE ‘Das Gefühl des Glaubens’: Religion in the Theatre of Werner Fritsch 137 KEITH BULLIVANT That Old-Time Religion? Thoughts on Patrick Roth’s ‘Resurrection’ Trilogy 147 MONIKA SHAFI Constructions of Islam: Select Voices from Germany and the Netherlands 163 MARIO FUHSE ‚Meine Gläubigkeit hat einen Knacks bekommen’: Hubert Fichtes Der Platz der Gehenkten als empfindsamer Beitrag einer Korankritik 183 FRAUKE MATTHES ‘Authentic’ Muslim Voices? Feridun Zaimoğlu’s Schwarze Jungfrauen 199 JULIAN PREECE Faking the Hadj? Richard Burton Slips between the Lines in Ilija Trojanow’s Der Weltensammler 211 MICHAEL HOFMANN Interkulturalität und Religion in Deutschland: Der Streit um den geplanten Bau einer Großmoschee in Köln und die Diskussion um einen europäischen Islam 227 Notes on Contributors...

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