Abstract In recent years spirituality has become one of the defining concepts in societal-religious discourse and at the same time has become such a vague term that it can hardly be grasped. 1 Therefore, the religious education scholar Fulbert Steffensky 2 justifiably writes in his book “Black Bread Spirituality” that an inflationary use of the word spirituality does more damage than good to people; spirituality could even become a misleading term. This is particularly true for newer spiritual endeavours of young people who broke away from traditional familiar forms. This article wants to discuss how young people in Germany experience spirituality and how this can be recorded and interpreted in a scholarly way. First of all (1) the relevant concepts are clarified and the current status of research is outlined. Subsequently, (2) the most important empirical studies on this subject are evaluated and interpretation patterns of spirituality for young people are developed. Internationally viewed, the situation in Germany with its two state churches, the Protestant (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, EKD) and the Catholic (Römisch-Katholische Kirche, RKK), to which 88% 3 of young people formally belong, is unusual and it is (3) necessary to ask how the new kind of spirituality relates to these churches. 4 In a final step (4) the most important consequences are summarised.
Religion and Theology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: Kirche; Spiritualität; Deutungsmuster; Deutschland; empirische Forschung; Jugendliche; Sprachlosigkeit
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