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Being Private in Public Space? The ‘Administration’ of ‘Religion’ in German Prisons

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In public institutions like prisons, the question arises if it is possible to be private in public space, because prisons are melting pots of societal change and legal practice through restrictive institutional conditions. To discuss this question, I present data of individual and organized religion in German prisons and explore the localization of ‘religion’ in prisons. Furthermore, I analyze the regulation of religious private needs in prison, using examples from Muslim practice. The analysis makes clear that ‘religion’ is administrated in a foreign way and ‘administration’ is a key term in the possibility of being private in public institutions.

Affiliations: 1: Center for Religious Studies CERES, Ruhr-University Bochum,


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