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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which attempts to discover historically variable reconfigurations of religion and the secular at the local level. It contributes to a better understanding of the nature of religion and of processes of religious change in eastern Germany. The book explains the question of how science could become a plausible alternative to religion. It also analyzes the concept of the scientific worldview in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) as well as how Urania attempted to enter into competition with churches and religion. The book further shows the distinction between the institutional policy of the Catholic Church referred to as the church of silence and the actual choices people made. It explains how Christiansboth Protestants and Catholicscould and in some cases did retain their influence over the school system.

Keywords: Catholic church; Christians; eastern Germany; German Democratic Republic (GDR); Protestants; religion; religious change



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