Prof. Dr. Markus Ries

In view of interior social pluralising processes and the forming of sub-societies in the 19th century, sub-project 3 investigates the role religion played in these different areas and how this role has changed. Although religion had continuously developed until the pre-modern era, the transitions into the 19th century changed the framework conditions completely: Societies in this age were characterised by new mentalities; power and legal relationships, economic conditions of life and cultural orientations underwent dramatic changes during a period of only two generations. The Catholic Church moved into two directions: On the one hand efforts were made to anchor religion in the new social environment, on the other hand rejection and refusal was common. As a revolt against modernity conservative Catholics gathered in a particular social milieu characterised by specific structures which thus functioned as a fixed framework. Religion served as a bracket, embracing a specific world-view and as an institutional identity marker. At the same time it continued to be a parameter for individual and collective lifestyles. This sub-project wants to analyse and describe the shift of meaning religion underwent in the “catholic milieu” between the crisis in 1830 and the Kulturkampf.