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Prof. Dr. Marian Burchardt

Areas of interest

  • Religious diversity
  • Secularity and governmentality in immigrant societies
  • Sociology of knowledge
  • Sociology of religion
  • Urban sociology and theories of modernity

Research project

Marian Burchardt's current research focuses on social and institutional responses to migration-driven religious diversity and is divided into two lines of investigation. First, he explores how nation-building shapes the governance of religious diversity in Quebec and Catalonia, and how the responses to religious diversity draw on and mobilise narratives of secular nationhood. Secondly, he explores the urban politics and cultural dynamics around Pentecostal Christianity in Cape Town. In particular, he examines Pentecostal notions of space, and looks at how claims to space are understood and legitimated through Christian idioms.


since 2018

Professor of Sociology, Centre of Area Studies / Institute of Sociology, Leipzig University

2017 - 2018

Senior Researcher, KFG "Multiple Secularities - Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities", Leipzig University

2012 - 2017

Postdoctoral Research Fellow,, Göttingen (Germany)


Research Associate, “Multiple Secularities“ project at the Institute for the Study of Culture, Leipzig University

2009 - 2010

Lecturer, Development Studies, University of Bayreuth (Germany)


Research Fellow, Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB), Berlin (Germany)

​2000 - 2009

Consultant, German Development Assistance

Relevant Publications

  • Burchardt, Marian. “Is religious indifference bad for secularism? Lessons from Canada,” in Religious indifference: New perspectives from studies on secularization and nonreligion. Edited by Johannes Quack and Cora Schuh, (pp. 83-99). Heidelberg: Springer, 2017.
  • Burchardt, Marian. “Diversity as neoliberal governmentality: Towards a new sociological genealogy of religion.” Social Compass, 2017.
  • Burchardt, Marian. “State Regulation or ‘Public Religion’? Religious Diversity in Post-apartheid South Africa,” The Politics and Practice of Religious Diversity: National Contexts, Global Issues. Edited by A. Dawson, 187–204. New York: Routledge, 2016.
  • Burchardt, Marian. “Does Religion need Rehabilitation? Charles Taylor and the Critique of Secularism,” in Working with a Secular Age. Edited by F. Zemmin, C. Jager, and G. Vanheeswijck, 137–158. Berlin: De Gruyter. 2016.
  • Burchardt, Marian, I. Becci, and M. Giorda. “Religious super-diversity and spatial strategies in two European cities.” Current Sociology, 2016.
  • Burchardt, Marian and H. Hovhannisyan. “Religious vs secular nationhood: ‘Multiple secularities’ in post-Soviet Armenia.” Social Compass, 2016.
  • Burchardt, Marian. “Should Public Space be Secular?” in Religious Plurality and the Public Space. Joint Christian-Muslim Theological Reflections. Edited by S. Sinn, M. Khorchide, and D. El Omari, 155-165. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2015.
  • Burchardt, Marian, S. Schenk, and M. Wohlrab-Sahr. “Religious diversity in the neoliberal welfare state: Secularity and the ethos of egalitarianism in Sweden.” International Sociology, 30/1 (2015): 3-20.
  • Burchardt, Marian, M. Wohlrab-Sahr, and M. Middell (eds.). Multiple Secularities Beyond the West. Religion and Modernity in the Global Age. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015.
  • Burchardt, Marian, M. Griera, and G. García-Romeral. “Narrating liberal rights and culture: Muslim face veiling, urban coexistence and contention in Spain.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2014.
  • Burchardt, Marian. “Faith-Based Humanitarianism: Organizational Change and Everyday Meanings in South Africa.” Sociology of religion, 74/1 (2013): 30-55.
  • Burchardt, Marian. “Equals before the Law? Public Religion and Queer Activism in the Age of Judicial Politics in South Africa.” Journal of Religion in Africa, 43 (2013): 237–60.
  • Burchardt, Marian, Monika Wohlrab-Sahr. „Über die kulturellen Bedeutungen religiös-säkularer Kontroversen in der Gegenwart,“ in Neue Räume öffnen. Mission und Säkularisierungen weltweit. Edited by G. Buß and M. Luber, 33-55. Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 2013.
  • Burchardt, Marian and M. Wohlrab-Sahr. “Von Multiple Modernities zu Multiple Secularities: kulturelle Diversität, Säkularismus und Toleranz als Leitidee in Indien.“ Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 38/4 (2013): 355–74.
  • Burchardt, Marian and M. Wohlrab-Sahr. “‘Multiple Secularities: Religion and Modernity in the Global Age’ – Introduction.” International Sociology, 28/6 (2013), Special Issue: 605–11.
  • Burchardt, Marian, M. Wohlrab-Sahr, and U. Wegert. „‘Multiple secularities’: Postcolonial variations and guiding ideas in India and South Africa.” International Sociology, 28/6 (2013), Special Issue: 612–28.
  • Burchardt, Marian, José Casanova, and Irene Becci (eds.). Topographies of Faith: Religion in urban spaces. Leiden: Brill, 2013.
  • Burchardt, Marian and M. Wohlrab-Sahr. “Multiple secularities: toward a cultural sociology of secular modernities.” Comparative Sociology, 11/6 (2012): 875–909.
  • Burchardt, Marian, C. Schuh, and M. Wohlrab-Sahr. “Contested Secularities: Religious Minorities and Secular Progressivism in the Netherlands.” Journal of Religion in Europe, 5/3 (2012): 349–83.
  • Burchardt, Marian and M. Wohlrab-Sahr. “Vielfältige Säkularitäten. Vorschlag zu einer vergleichenden Analyse religiös-säkularer Grenzziehungen.“ Denkströme, 7 (2011), 9-27.