Revisiting the Religious Openness Hypothesis in a Migration Context: The Case of Muslims with a Turkish Migration Background in Germany

In: Journal of Empirical Theology
Sarah Demmrich Cluster of Excellence ‘Religion & Politics’, Chair of Sociology of Religion, University of Muenster Johannisstraße 1, 48143 Muenster Germany

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Havagül Akçe Department of Philosophy and Religion Sciences, Social Sciences Institute, Sakarya University Sakarya Turkey

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The religious openness hypothesis, which states that religious traditions have the potential to integrate faith with intellect, is examined in this study within a migration context for the first time. Based on two lines of research, our central question is whether the sociological context or the Islamic tradition per se explains the (in)compatibility of faith and intellect orientation and their relation to psychological openness. Religious openness, psychological openness (ambiguity tolerance and acculturation strategies) and religiosity were measured among Muslims with a Turkish migration background in Germany. Our findings show a non-significant relationship between faith and intellect orientation and we therefore propose that the secular context is the crucial explaining factor. Religious reflection also moderates the link between different forms of religiosity and ambiguity tolerance. Finally, heterogeneous religious rationalities were uncovered that challenge the negative view of Muslims as fanatic, closed-minded people which prevails among the German majority society.

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