Deutsch Intern
    Chair of Religious Education

    Religion and Event


    Dipl.-Theol. Christian Scharnberg, Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Georg Ziebertz

    Research problem

    Events are seen as a sign of the present youth’s culture. They have meanwhile established themselves in the pastoral activities of the youth. The most prominent example of large church-run events is the World Youth Day, which takes place every two years in a world metropolis on the initiative of the Vatican and under the responsibility of the Papal Council for Laymen. Over 6000 young people travelled from Germany to these World Youth Days in 2002. The same age group in Germany is becoming increasingly distanced from the Church institution. What is so attractive about the Roman Catholic World Youth Days? Will an institutionally-controlled religious presence become more plausible for young people if it is brought alive in the form of events?

    Research questions

    Why do young people come to World Youth Days? What do they hope to experience there, what do they actually experience and how do they evaluate their experiences? What effects do they expect these events to have on their everyday life? In addition it is interesting to see who takes part in these events and how they differ from comparable random samples. Can statements on the change in form of religion amongst the youth be condensed based on the findings?

    Research aim

    The aim of the investigation is to use the socio-religious data for a field of practice which has up until now been little placed under empirical investigation. A theory on the phenomenon event will be developed against the background of this data and will offer behaviour orientation in pastoral and didactic processes specifically related to the target groups.
    The occurrence of a World Youth Day in Germany in 2005 provides a context for the usage of this data. he results of this investigation will theoretically accompany the modelling of the concept of an international event on the historically-grown pastoral youth work in Germany


    Semi-structured interviews with participants of the World Youth Day; Questionnaire with 4500 copies


    Chr. Scharnberg, H.-G. Ziebertz, Weltjugendtag 2002, Datenband zur Fragebogenuntersuchung. Würzburg 2003 (unveröffentlichtes Manuskript)
    Chr. Scharnberg, H.-G. Ziebertz, Weltjugendtag 2002, Forschungsbericht zur Fragebogenuntersuchung, Würzburg 2003 (unveröffentlichtes Manuskript)