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Values and Society

People with different religious beliefs.

Life today is presenting numerous challenges when it comes to finding one's place in the world. Many societies are becoming increasingly heterogeneous, thanks to globalization, a greater focus on individual needs and changing values. All of these developments can give rise to conflict. Ever more pressing questions are therefore how to increase social cohesion – now and in the future – and which values can serve as a foundation for communal life. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is examining critical issues in this area, such as which values promote social cohesion, the impact religious diversity is having and how role models can help society thrive over time. Social cohesion must be fostered, and for that to happen an open discussion of values must take place

Focus Areas

Religion Monitor

The Religion Monitor examines the impact religious beliefs have on social cohesion in a diverse society. Do they increase cohesiveness or do they give rise to conflicts? How do adherents of different religions perceive each other and how do they interact? Based on representative surveys carried out in 13 countries, the Religion Monitor examines how personal beliefs, values, interreligious relations and social cohesion influence each other.

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Social Cohesion

The Bertelsmann Stiftung carries out comparative assessments of social cohesion both on an international scale and within Germany. Experts and practitioners systematically analyze the causes and consequences of shifts in cohesiveness, focusing in particular on the impact that values have and their significance for quality of life. The goal is to identify risks and the areas requiring action and to promote a public discussion of issues relating to social cohesion.

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Related Projects


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