Xenosophia and Religion

Biographical and Statistical Paths for a Culture of Welcome

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Heinz Streib, Constantin Klein
  • London, England: 
    Palgrave Macmillan
    , July
     392 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


This book documents the current polarization in Germany regarding the issue of refugee immigration. It presents quantitative estimates for both xenophobia and xenophilia in the German population, including short-time changes. The book suggests a conceptual change of perspectives. It focuses not only on the pathogenic model that accounts for outcomes such as xenophobia, Islamophobia and other forms of (inter-religious) prejudice, but on a salutogenic model. In the book’s view, the salutogenic model entails xenosophia: the wisdom, creativity and inspiration that emerges from the encounter with the strange and the strange religion. The book addresses individual dispositions, which may lead to xenophobia or xenosophia, and takes into account predictors such as religiosity, religious schemata, value preferences, tolerance of complexity, and violence legitimizing norms of masculinity. A selection of case studies present typical biographical trajectories toward xenosophia.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Heinz Streib is Senior Professor at Bielefeld University. He has established the Research Center for Biographical Studies in Contemporary Religion at the University of Bielefeld and has conducted there a series of empirical studies.

Constantin Klein is Professor for Spiritual Care at Ludwig-Maximilians-University München. Between 2009 and 2017, Klein was scientific assistant at Bielefeld University and associated with the Research Center for Biographical Studies in Contemporary Religion.


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