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Protestant Students in Germany

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image of Journal of Empirical Theology

The analysis of previous researches at universities and equivalent institutions regarding the situation of students, indicated a significant change in structural conditions, as well as an alteration concerning the composition of the group of students at universities. A representative poll among 703 Protestant students and 23 narrative interviews were conducted. The aim of this project was to determine the perception and disposition of students with regard to church, religion and faith considering their social context. According to the results the attitude of Protestant students towards the church as an organisation is predominantly negative. However, the field of the diaconical engagement of the church is judged positively by the students. Faith is regarded as something individual and private. The understanding of questions concerning philosophy of life and God varies from individual to individual. One can observe a kind of vagueness in the opinions of the students. A twofold inconsistency is obvious: On the one hand, according to the students' view, the church is seen as an obstacle in their demand for a greater autonomy. On the other hand the students seek for values and orientation, which the anonymity of the university education lacks. This inconsistency must not be described as a psychological problem of the students alone. It is a challenge for the future conception of universities.

Affiliations: 1: Planning Group of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)


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