Chapter

Atheist convictions, Christian beliefs or ‘keeping things open’? Patterns of world views among three generations in East German families

Monika Wohlrab-Sahr

in Valuing older people

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781847422927
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304173 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422927.003.0005
Atheist convictions, Christian beliefs or ‘keeping things open’? Patterns of world views among three generations in East German families

Show Summary Details

Preview

East Germany is a region where Christian traditions have largely vanished and most people have grown up without a religious socialisation. After the socialist regime ended, the conditions for adopting religious perspectives changed significantly. Ideas about the afterlife are a significant part of this religious reawakening and these ideas are adopted mainly by younger generations. This chapter presents findings of a research project that was undertaken at the University of Leipzig between 2003 and 2006. The subject of the project was change in religiosity and world views among three East German generations during the GDR period and after 1989. The interviews and statistical information presented here illustrate a profound secularisation as well as slight tendencies toward de-secularisation. The East German example clearly indicates that enforced secularisation in the GDR succeeded in forming secular and atheist perceptions of the world in a large part of the population.

Keywords: East Germany; Christian traditions; religious socialisation; socialist regime; secularisation

Chapter.  7812 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.