Re-emergence of Religion as a Social Force in Europe

The ten projects examine the significance of religion in contemporary social life, as well as exploring the social and cultural impacts of recent religious growth points.

Primary page content


NORFACE stands for New Opportunities for Research  Funding Co-operation in Europe. It is a partnership of national funding agencies from the following countries: Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland,, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK. Canada and Austria participate as associate partners. Visit their website for more information on NORFACE projects on religion.

About the Co-ordinator

Professor Roger Hewitt, CUCR Senior Research Associate, is the Scientific Co-ordinator of this programme of ten international projects which probes the current condition of religion in Europe against the background of European secularism and the re-kindling of religious activity brought about by the political and social changes in Europe of the past thirty years.

About the projects

The ten innovative and methodologically varied projects examine the significance of religion in contemporary social life, as well as exploring the social and cultural impacts of recent religious growth points, such as Pentecostalism and Islam.

Quantitative studies analyse data from the major social surveys conducted over the past ten years to establish whether religion has re-emerged as a social force, how much has changed, how much is religion still in decline, how far have new migrant groups transformed or merely refreshed the picture.

Qualitative projects involving ethnographic, visual and other methodologies, look at the detail of religious activity through empirical and theoretical research, exploring issues concerning gender, transnational processes, the politics of religious cultures, new forms of religious expression and many other dimensions of contemporary relevance.

The individual projects within this programme are as follows:

  • Transnational Southern PentecostalChurches, Networks and Believers in Three Northern Countries: a Potential and Potent Social Force. Professor Andreas Droogers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • The Architecture of Contemporary Religious Transmission. Professor Roger Hewitt, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Centre for Urban and Community Research
  • Gender, Nation and Religious Diversity in Force at European Pilgrimage Sites. Professor Wilhelmina (Willy) Jansen, Institute for Gender Studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • What are the Impacts of Religious Diversity? Regions in three European Countries Compared. Professor Volkhard Krech, Ruhr University Bochum, Faculty of Protestant Theology
  • Islam as a Social Force in Europe: Islamic Fashion and the Politics of Presence. Professor Annelies Moors, Universiteit van Amsterdam, International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World
  • Ethnic Identity and Religious Mobilisation of the European Second Generation: Comparing Muslim Youth in Multicultural Cities. Professor Karen Phalet, European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER), Social Sciences, Utrecht University
  • "Recognizing Christianity": How African Immigrants Redefine the European Religious Heritage. Professor Ramon Sarró, University of Lisbon, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Religious Sources of Solidarity (EURESOURCE). Professor Peer Scheepers, Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Theology, Department of Empirical Theology  
  • Religion, Euroskepticism, and the Media. Professor Claes de Vreese, University of Amsterdam, The Amsterdam School of Communications Research, ASCoR
  • Extending and Enhancing the ISSP 2008 Module on Religion. Professor David Voas, University of Manchester, Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research, School of Social Sciences,