Miriam Meir

The Conceptualization of the Nation, Eastern Europe, Europe, and the Global by Religious and Non-religious Convictional Actors in Poland and Eastern Germany.

In the course of globalization, societies must respond to a growing diffusion of values for constructing an own identity. In Europe, a common sense of belonging is challenged by diverse identity conceptions. Religion plays a crucial role in discussing them and serves as a reference point for both, EU supporters and Eurosceptics. With my research proposal I aim to investigate links between religion and identity and value formation in Poland and Eastern Germany. The proposal focuses on religious and non-religious convictional actors and their conceptualization of spatial orders and spaces such as the nation, Eastern Europe, Europe, and the global.

I studied European Studies at the Technical University of Chemnitz and followed a Master degree on the same subject at the Leipzig University. As European integration is a phenomenon that is approached from several disciplinary angles, I integrated theories from social science with cultural and economic ideas and specialized on the region of Eastern Europe. My research interest include European identity, solidarity within Europe, religious actors, and lobbying in the EU.

Accordingly, religion and identity constructions played an important role in my Master thesis. I investigated the contribution of convictional lobbying to the emergence of a European civil religion and concluded that diverse religious and philosophical organizations in the EU share a minimum consensus of convictions and beliefs within their advocacy work on the EU level. The topic intrigues me, as my results do not confirm conceptions highlighting the importance of a Christian Occident for European identity formation. I hope to deepen this issue within a PhD project.

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