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The Danish Pluralism Project

Mapping, analysing, and interpreting the religious pluralism in Denmark: Introduction

The Danish Pluralism Project is an academic research project which has set out to document the growing religious diversity in Denmark. A project hosted and undertaken by the Centre for Contemporary Religion, earlier known as the Centre for Multireligious Studies.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • to document the changes in the religious landscape, in order to carry out the mapping of the new religious demography. This overall mapping of religious groups will lead to a focus on transformations processes.
  • to analyse how religions and religious traditions change and develop within new contexts in relation to social, as well as cognitive structures. What is changing in a cultural encounter? What is happening within the religions over time and when they adjust to modernity and new ideals in life?
  • to understand the background for the new religions and alternative spiritual groups that are emerging and
  • to interpret the theological positions within Christianity that can be seen as responses to the new religious variety.

When the centre was renamed as the Centre for Contemporary Religion in March 2009, we could also present an update of the Danish Pluralism Project, which at the time had fulfilled its basic mapping purposes. This update is a continued effort to spot the basic trends in contemporary Danish religiosity by means of statistics and articles presenting the updated research, and an e-Yearbook serves this purpose. Click here to view the first Yearbook Religion in Denmark 2009 .

Mapping the religious pluralism of Aarhus

The municipality of Aarhus, and its 280,000 citizens, became the mapping ground for the first part of the project. A research project documenting the religious diversity in Aarhus - the second largest city in Denmark - was prepared and carried out by a team of researchers from the Religion and Theology sections at Aarhus University. In this mapping process, a comprehensive fieldwork of interviews and observations was conducted by MA candidates and students of religion and theology, and the results were published in March this year in a volume with the title

  • Religiøs mangfoldighed. En kortlægning af religion og spiritualitet i Århus . Redigeret af Marianne C. Qvortrup Fibiger. Forlaget Systime, 2004 (Religious Diversity.The Mapping of Religion and Spirituality in Aarhus. Edited by Marianne C. Qvortrup Fibiger. Published by Forlaget Systime, 2004, 502 pages (out of print, but there is a pdf-version http://www.teo.au.dk/csr/pluralismeprojektet/rel-mangfold).

As indicated, this volume is in Danish, but the links at the bottom of this homepage will serve as a gateway to summaries and abstracts in connection with the project.

A series of books covering Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and New Religious and Spiritual Groups in Denmark, plus Alternative therapists and spirituality, were published 2005-07.

We were privileged to work with sociologist of religion Phil Zuckerman , who completed a research project about contemporary religion in Denmark and Sweden, resulting in his book Phil Zuckerman: Society without God . New York University Press, 2008.

Other CCR Publications are listed at the CCR Homepage.

Team of Pluralism Project Researchers 2003-2007:

Viggo Mortensen (Director), Marianne C. Qvortrup Fibiger (Research Coordinator), Lars Ahlin, Lene Kühle, Jørn Borup, René Dybdal Pedersen (Project Secretary).

More information: