Provincializing dialogue: Post-secular governance networks and brokerage of religious diversity in a Northern German town

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter investigates the emergence of a post-secular governance network that focuses on migrant integration and the management of religious diversity in a small town in Northern Germany. Dominated by a Catholic minority leader in a majority Protestant region, the empirical analysis illustrates how a local cross-party, civil society, media and faith network, which has influenced the public discourse on interreligious relations, refugees and Islam for over ten years, operates and is perceived by supporters and opponents. Special consideration is given to the emerging academic discussion on religious diversity in rural areas and small towns in Germany, which, compared to research on major urban centres, assumes a different modality regarding the strength of networks, the role of traditional actors and the interplay between secular and religious factors. In doing so, the chapter engages with the notion of the ‘broker’ within political anthropology and scholarship on networks within organizational sociology, to inquire whether a provincial location with tight-knit bonds, regular and informal face-to-face interactions among local actors and mutual oversight through meta-governance produces more robust post-secular networks compared with large metropolitan centres.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterreligious Encounters in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationSites, Materialities and Practices
EditorsJan Winkler, Laura Haddad, Julia Martínez-Ariño, Giulia Mezzetti
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781003228448
ISBN (Print)9781032121826, 9781032132808
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2023


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