Migration and Religion

Research Context

Migration poses one of the central challenges of the 21st century. Migration enables societies, church and schools to reflect on fundamental questions of living together in diversity and justice. Migrants can therefore also be perceived as "ambassadors". Migration dynamizes cultural and religious pluralisation, social conflicts and social innovation. Religion plays an ambivalent role in the context of migration, because it can contribute to solving social and political problems, but it can also enhance them. Religion changes through migration and opens up alternative perspectives on the topic of migration. Religious communities and congregations, institutions and religious education are highly relevant for peaceful and just coexistence in Europe's migration societies. In the Bible, too, migration has a fundamental significance and is therefore a central place of learning for theologians. The research results are addressed to scientists in the field of religion and migration research, Christian communities and churches, multipliers in society, politics and religious communities as well as teachers.


  • Deducting research on migration from different scientific areas in order to guarantee plural perspectives on the migration phenomena and the significance of religion in the context of migration in order to intertwine interdisciplinary migration research with practical theology
  • Perception and promotion of migrants as subjects and actors of social and religious transformation and school development
  • Development of basic knowledge, criteria and perspectives for living and learning in the culturally and religiously plural migration societies of Europe
  • Identifying and making fruitful theological contributions to social, political and religious hotspots in the area of migration and religion


  • Religion in the context of migration
  • Living and learning from and with refugees
  • (Right-wing) Populism and Racism
  • Practical Theologies of Migration
  • Religion, Migration and Justice
  • Religion, Migration and Urbanisation
  • Cooperation with the Research Center “Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society


Regina Polak (lead), Andrea-Lehner-Hartmann



Here you will find a selection of the most important publications.