Hanging banners with house of prayer

Religions in Transition

The skyline of our towns and villages is characterised by places of worship – usually churches, but sometimes also mosques, synagogues and others.

Over the past decades, religious communities have continually renegotiated their place in society. As society changes, so too do the challenges they face. Tensions occur, both between individual religious groups as well as between the faithful and society as a whole. What is permissible and appropriate must constantly be discussed and negotiated anew.

Whereas as late as the 1960s the law still dictated that Protestant and Catholic children went to different schools, this would be unthinkable today. Since the 1960s, Christian churches have looked for new ways to face modern daily life which is constantly in flux.

Jewish communities sought out a new beginning in the state after the Second World War and played their part culturally in the diverse social transformation. The opulent Torah cover at the back of the room tells the story of this new beginning.

By now, Muslim communities have also become part of urban society. This has sparked debates time and again, such as that surrounding the construction of the new mosque in Cologne, a model of which can be found in the last section of the room.

A wall that actually divided a school is the first exhibit you will come across now.