Case Study 4: Useful Trust – Interreligious Strategies in Hamburg

  • Laura Haddad


One of the dominant narratives about Hamburg deals with cosmopolitanism and openness to strangers. This narrative is connected to the history of commercial travellers and harbour workers and defines Hamburg as city where a diversity of worldviews and religions is dialogically negotiated. Deriving from this local identity concept the meaning of Interreligious Dialogue is emphasised by almost all religious communities in Hamburg. Being part of the official Interreligious Dialogue is proof of recognition and social capital. The article examines the case of two minority religious groups, Bahá’í and Alevis, that are received in a controversial manner by other religious actors as for example Sunni Muslims. The struggle for participation in official initiatives and the strategies to reach interreligious recognition by Bahá’í and Alevis are discussed within the framework of social capital theory.


Interreligious Dialogue Alevis Bahá’í Minority religions Linking capital Collective social capital 


  1. Bahá’í International Community. 2017. About us. URL: Last accessed 2 Feb 2017.
  2. Berking, Helmuth, Silke Steets, and Jochen Schwenk, eds. 2018. Religious Pluralism and the City: Inquiries into Postsecular Urbanism. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  3. Der Nationale Geistige Rat der Bahá’í in Deutschland. Vertretungsorgan der Bahá’í Gemeinde in Deutschland K.d.ö.R. 2017. (Hrsg.) Edelsteine. Worte und Gebete Bahá’u’lláhs, Stifter der Bahá’í Religion. Hofheim: Bahá’í-Verlag gGmbH.Google Scholar
  4. Groschek, Iris. 1998. Wilhelm Heydorn und die Anfänge der Bahá’í in Hamburg. Zeitschrift des Vereins für Hamburgische Geschichte 84: 101–127.Google Scholar
  5. Haddad, Laura. 2017. Anerkennung und Widerstand – Lokale islamische Identitätspraxis in Hamburg. Bielfeld: Transcript.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Körs, Anna. 2017. Die Pluralität der ‘zwei Pluralismen’ in Deutschland. Konkretionen und Lokalisierungen. In Zwei Pluralismen. Positionen aus Sozialwissenschaft und Theologie zu religiöser Vielfalt und Säkularität, ed. Peter L. Berger, Silke Steets, and Wolfram Weiße, 159–178. Münster: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  7. Putnam, Robert. 2000. Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  8. Sökefeld, Martin. 2008. Introduction: Aleviten in Deutschland – von takiye zur alevitischen Bewegung. id Aleviten in Deutschland: Identitätsprozesse einer Religionsgemeinschaft in der Diaspora, Kultur und soziale Praxis, 7–36. Bielefeld: Transcript.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Haddad
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.University of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

Personalised recommendations