The research of the chair Empirical and Practical Religious Studies is conducted along two lines. The first is the transformation of life stories, discourse and transmission of religious and spiritual identity. How do people articulate their religion in relation to other religions? How is a narrative account of spirituality embodied in their life stories? How is religious identity transmitted in different institutions (family, church, school)?

The second line investigates the transformation of religion in processes of migration and conflict. Migration results in interaction between individuals with different religious identities and spiritualities. What social cognitions and mental models determine communication between diverse social groups? What is the role of religion in social conflicts, and in how far does it promote social cohesion?

“Discovering how religion plays a role in human existence is mind blowing. It helps us grasp how religious processes work which in turn can give us a better understanding of how we could promote Christian faith in society.”
Prof. dr. Chris Hermans, Professor Practical Theology at Radboud University

Affiliated organisations

The Kaski is a research centre that does research in the field of religion and society. In recent years, reports have been made on, for example, spiritual care in prisons, fund-raising in the churches, parish development and the supporters of the Dutch Bible Society. The main focus of the Kaski is knowledge valorisation and the social impact of research.

The Titus Brandsma Institute (TBI) is a research institute for the study of spirituality and mystic. Research is aimed at the foundations of spirituality and its history. The SPINE project, that focuses on development in the field of spirituality, is one of the partnerships between the faculty and the TBI.

The Institute for Catholic Education (VKO) is an expertise centre for school development. IKO develops and distributes practical knowledge about issues that Catholic elementary schools need to make choices in.

The Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (IVOC) was established in 1991 when significant political changes were taking place in Eastern Europe. The IVOC does research on the actual situation in churches in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Research topics include: developments in ecumenism, dialogue, freedom of religion, nationalism, Islam, secularism and atheism.

The Nijmegen Institute for Mission Studies (NIM) develops, transmits and applies knowledge on ongoing mission practices in relation to (inter-religious) dialogue and (socio-economic) development. Its research projects focus on Non-Western Christianity (outside and inside Europe), Interreligious Dialogue and Mission.