Deutsch Intern
    Chair of Religious Education

    Life and Religion (Poland/Germany)

    Religion and Life perspectives in Poland and Germany

    A comparative empirical-theological study


    Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Ziebertz, Dr. Mike Fearn in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Wit Paiserbek, Krakov (Poland)


    Changes in polish society after the fall of communism are causing the development of new ways of thinking among youth. Patterns of how to live and even how to believe are influenced by this process. The Catholic Church is subject to this process as well. The Church can not neglect this tendency of change, and therefore must find new forms of self-identity in this transforming society. Once the monopolist in religious affairs, it now has to begin to struggle with various opinions in society. The Church nowadays must deal with different opinions on religion and has to present its own point of view; that means defining an identity in the face of a pluralistic society.


    How do students understand their own religiosity?
    How does their religiosity impact on their political beliefs and personal values?
    Do family relationships mediate the impact of religiosity across a range of areas?
    Which institutions in society shape values most directly, religious, media, or governmental?
    Which personal relationships affect values most directly, peers, family, or professionals?
    To what extend to young males and young females inhabit different social worlds?


    This study aims to address the above questions and to provide a wider contextual understanding of the situation of young people in Poland and in Germany. The structure of this examination explores the fundamental differences between young Germans and young Poles across a range of social and political areas. The way in which young people are socialised within their nations, within their relationship to their parents, and within their relationship to the media and other societal structures are explored. The way in which individual differences in personality impact on young peoples perceptions are considered. The impact of sex is considered and investigated among the young people. In addition to examining these social, psychological and biological factors which may impact on the values of young people, the current theological enquiry focuses clear attention on religiosity. Understanding the interplay of each of these variables is the key aim of the present project.
    Young people in these very different nations need to be listened to in order that their concerns and aspirations can be heeded by the adult communities within these nations and across Europe. This research aims to make explicit these answers, and to offer a commentary on the meaning of these answers in terms of educational needs within these changing societies. Practical suggestions are made to address the pedagogical, social and spiritual needs identified.


    Hermeneutical and quantitative empirical research.
    Questionnaires were completed by 803 Polish young people and 1,923 German young people. The data were analysed by means of the SPSS statistical package employing the frequencies, chi-squared, Pearson correlation, and Independent samples T-test routines.


    Ziebertz H.-G. (2003), Religious Education in a plural Western Society. Problems and Challenges. Münster
    Ziebertz H.-G., Kalbhheim B., Riegel U. (2003), Religiöse Signaturen heute. Ein religionspädagogischer Beitrag zur empirischen Jugendforschung, Gütersloh/Freiburg.
    Ziebertz H.-G. (2001), Religijnosc i Wychowanie W Swiecie Pluralistycznym, Krakau