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La recherche

In France, public research is mostly done within the framework of universities and National Centre for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS). In most cases, different existing research groups are linked to these two institutions.

Research in law and sociology of religions

- The research team of DRES works in the fields of law and social sciences of religions.
DRES, a joint research unit of the University of Strasbourg and CNRS gathers lawyers, political analysts, and specialists in social sciences of religions. Its mission is to make a European comparative study of the legal status and the institutional and cultural situation of religions and the sacred.

Research in law of religions

- The centre for Law and Religious Societies (Droit et Sociétés religieuses, DSR)
The Marie Curie GRATIANUS research programme run by the Jean Monnet Institut – Faculty of law, economics and management at the University of South-Paris XI is devoted to studying legal issues related to religion in Europe. Research is done on community law and the European law considering the religious context as perceived by the local law and legal status of religions in each one of the 15 member States of the European Union, internal of religions and the history of the canon law.

Research in sociology of religions

- The Group Society, Religions and Secularism (Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, GSRL). The GSRL is interested in religious transformation and secularism in order to explain changes in the entire society.
- The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Religious Facts (Centre d’Etudes Interdisciplinaires des Faits Religieux, CEIFR)
CIEFR was established in 1993 at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences. There are 22 main researchers of which 21 are associated researches and 4 are administrative members.
They research on the following themes : sociology, philosophy and anthropology of religious modernity ; religion, States, Nations, international relations and transnationalisation of the sacred ; history, sociology, political science, institutions, religious practices and power ; transformation and formation of identities ; sociology and anthropology of religious margins ; minorities, protests, violence, utopia ; forms of religious experiences.

The Universities of Aix-Marseille host several research centres on religion :
- Institute for Research and the Study of the Arab World and Islam (Institut de recherches et d’études sur le monde arabe et musulman, IREMAM)
IREMAM studies the Arab world and Islam in the perspective of different disciplines (history, linguistics, law, sociology, anthropology and political science). It is interested in the contemporary times, in situating and understanding the Arab world and Islam on a long time scale.
- The Centre Paul-Albert Fevrier, CNRS - Université de Provence, UMR 6125.
Le centre comporte notamment un programme de recherche mené en commun avec l’IREMAM sur les approches comparatistes des trois monotheismes.
- The Institut Interuniversitaire d’Etudes et de Culture Juives, Université de la Mediterranée.
Public conferences, education and research on Judaism, Jewish culture and Jewish civilisation.
- The Study Centre of the Monotheistic Religions (Laboratoire d’Etudes sur les Monothéismes)
This is the mother centre for three other centres : Study Centre of the Religions of the Book (Centre d’Études des religions du Livre, Director : Philippe Hoffmann), the New Gallia Judaica (Nouvelle Gallia Judaica, Director : Gilbert Dahan) and the Institute of Augustinian Studies (Institut d’Études Augustiniennes, Director : Jean-Claude Fredouille).

- The University of Lyon hosts a research centre on religion and secularism Institut Supérieur d’Etude des Religions et de la Laïcité.

- The Faculty of Protestant theology of the University of Strasbourg holds a research centre called Centre de sociologie des religions et d’éthique sociale (Centre of sociology of religion and social ethics).


In France, there exists a magazine dedicated to law of religions called the Canon Law Magazine, Revue de droit canonique and a magazine for the sociology of religion called the Archives of Social Sciences of Religion, Archives de Sciences Sociales de Religion.


The Sociorel weblog provides information and news concerning social sciences of religion.

D 23 mai 2015    AAnne-Laure Zwilling

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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