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Publications

For a current list of all publications by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kropač, please refer to the KU publication server. On this website, we provide you with a short summary of the book publications by the holder of our Chair.

Kropač, Ulrich: Religion - Religiosität - Religionskultur. Ein Grundriss religiöser Bildung in der Schule. (Religion - Religiosity - Religious Culture. An outline of religious education at schools.; available in German) (Religious education innovative), with contributions by Klaus König, Stuttgart 2019.

How can religious education at state schools be fundamentally designed to promote children’s personal development? This volume answers this question in five comprehensive chapters: “Religion”, “Religiosity”, “Religious culture”, “Religious education” and “Teaching religion at state schools”. The novelty of the approach is to open up the traditional focus on Christianity and the (big) world religions by adding two equal pillars next to this ‘religion’ pillar: ‘Religiosity’ as a stand-alone construct in its biography and ‘religious culture’ as a manifestation of religiousness in high and popular culture. This basic idea is integrated into the bigger picture of today’s understanding of education and in particular religious education to be then transferred to religious teaching at schools.


Bildung und Univers(al)ität, published by Ulrich Kropač and Thomas Pitroff, (Forum K'Universale 3), St. Ottilien 2015.

Education is a central issue in our present times. But what does education actually mean? Ultimately, the central question is on which view of human life the concept of education is based. By drawing on interdisciplinary contributions and grounded in the Christian view of human life, this work seeks to investigate selected fundamental aspects of the educational concept which shall be observed in present times in order to ensure an “education in accordance with human life”. The play on words in the title, univers(al)ity, implies two things: on the one hand, the question on the specific of education within the educational institution university, also with a view to schools, and on the other hand the fundamental idea of the Forum K’Universale which characterizes education with a broader – and in a sense universal – meaning. This point again establishes a self-evident connection to the proper of a “Catholic” university, which is based on a comprehensive horizon in its literal sense.


Zwischen Religion und Religiosität: Ungebundene Religionskulturen in Religionsunterricht und kirchlicher Jugendarbeit - Erkundungen und Praxis, published by Uto Meier / Klaus König / Ulrich Kropac, St. Ottilien 2015.

Whoever wants to seriously get involved with religious education and pastoral will have to adapt to the world of youth, far from the desired cohesive confessionalism and open to new cultural constructions of meaning. Will this space in-between provide challenging room for the development of new religious competence? This problem situation raises some questions: - Which consequences does the changed approach of young people to religion entail in the context of new medial-esthetic formats for religious education? - Where can church youth work find its standing between individualized religiousness and a Christianity which is shaped by tradition? - What is the situation of young Muslims moving between religious individualization and identification with Islam? - How do youths in the new German federal states develop within the mainstream of secular religiousness? This volume addresses these questions with the help of the expertise of renowned researchers and prominent practitioners in the field.


Zeitzeichen, published by Ulrich Kropač / Bernhard Sill (Forum K'Universale 2), St. Ottilien 2014.

The present volume closely examines current phenomena in society and church in view of the question to what extent they can be seen and interpreted as “signs of the times” from an interdisciplinary perspective. This interdisciplinary approach also incorporates a strong theological perspective. The Second Vatican Council has defined a mission for Christians in accordance with which the “signs of the times” shall be interpreted in the light of faith, thus within the framework of religious perception. The volume also contains contributions dealing with fundamental deliberations on time, on the relation of time and modern media as well as on the significance of a reasonable management of time within the meaning of the art of living. The entire work offers a diverse view creating a contemporary diagnostic contribution to the awareness of “which hour has struck”.


Konfessioneller und bekenntnisunabhängiger Religionsunterricht, published by Dominik Helbling / Stephan Leimgruber / Monika Jakobs / Ulrich Kropač, Zurich 2013.

On the book: Religious education is a much discussed topic in Switzerland. In view of religious pluralization processes, many cantons have introduced religious education which is not connected to a specific confession as part of a state responsibility. The newly developed future Lehrplan 21 curriculum for German-speaking Switzerland also follows the same direction. 

The book addresses the fundamental question of the relation between religious education which is not connected to specific confessions and education concepts for a specific denomination: The authors examine current developments in religious education and reflect on to co-existence and relation of both models from a conceptional, didactic and content-related point of view. Like this, the book presents ideas for discussion on religious education at state schools well beyond Switzerland’s borders.


Jugend Religion Religiosität Resultate, Probleme und Perspektiven der aktuellen Religiositätsforschung, published by Ulrich Kropač / Klaus König / Uto Meier, Regensburg 2012.

In most cases, the religiousness of today’s youth is no longer bound to a church but lived as individual religiosity. This evokes questions such as: - What does religiousness mean for young people? - How can empirical research be conducted on this topic? - In what relation do (Christian) religion and religiousness of the youth stand? Renowned authors from the field of sociology of religion, history, developmental psychology, philosophy of religion, ethnology, politics, theology and religious education have conducted research and engaged in interdisciplinary discourse on these topics for this volume.


Religionsunterricht und der Bildungsauftrag der öffentlichen Schulen, published by Ulrich Kropac / Georg Langenhorst, Babenhausen 2012.

No other school subject is confronted with as many questions as religious education. Its legitimacy is secured by the German Basic Law and individual constitutions of the Länder – at least as long as political opinion does not decide otherwise. However, such legitimacy is heavily debated: Why is this subject relevant from an educational or theological point of view in general? And why in this form? How can classes be designed from an organizational and content-related point of view? This book outlines current discussions on religious education and opens up perspectives for forward-looking placement of the topic. The publication combines contributions by renowned Protestant and Catholic authors.


Ulrich Kropač: Religionsunterricht in der Schule? Zur bildungstheoretischen Legitimität von Religion. Eichstätt 2008.

The topic of “education” is currently omnipresent in our society and schools – a trend which also has consequences for religious education. If religious education wants to continue to be taken seriously and be accepted as respectable subject, it has to make publicly clear why (Christian) religion is important for education. This publication provides an educational theory argumentation for religious education at public schools and examines the specific contribution of religion to general education in four sections.


Seelsorge in Lebenskrisen: Pastoralpsychologische, humanwissenschaftliche und theologische Impulse. Forum Pastoral 3 paperback, published by Manfred Belok / Ulrich Kropač, Zürich 2007.

Unforeseen events such as the death of a close friend/relative, breakdown of a marriage or the loss of a job can plunge people into deep life crises. It is an important task to offer such people pastoral support and guidance. This publication introduces three different ways of pastoral crisis intervention on an exemplary basis: a person-oriented, a depth analysis and a logo-therapeutic approach. Furthermore, it seeks to provide answers to questions on how to deal with crisis events in a school environment and informs on possibilities of pastoral support and guidance in case of breakdown of a relationship and ways into a fresh start. Ultimately, a theological placing of church counseling for marriage, family and life is effected in the context of the encyclical ‘Deus Caritas est’, Benedict XVI. This publication includes contributions by Giosch Albrecht, Isidor Baumgartner, Manfred Belok, Hermann Stinglhammer, Urs Winter, Hans Ziegler and Josef Zimmermann.


Kropač, Ulrich: Religiöse Erziehung und Bildung in postmoderner Gesellschaft. Begründungen, Aufgaben und Formen von Religionsunterricht in der öffentlichen Schule. in: Religion und Gesellschaft (Theologische Berichte XXX) published by Michael Durst / Hans J. Münk, Fribourg 2007.

In the last couple of years, theses of a renaissance or comeback of religion to our secularized world have gained increasing popularity. The public debate, emotionally charged at times, (especially surrounding radical Islamic movements) also shows more than a few deficits and weak spots. Use of the term “religion” is often very diffuse and filled with tension – sometimes even contradictory. This publication contributes to the clarification, profiling and content-related examination of the topic. First of all, the term “religion” itself is addressed from a fundamental theological perspective. Further contributions examine how ideologically neutral states deal with religious groups and the situation of Islamic groups in the Western diaspora and Christians in the Far Eastern cultural area. Selected key focus points of the complex overall topic further include a reflection of the problems of passing on religion and a contribution on the reception of religious topics in recent literature


Religionspädagogik und Offenbarung. Anfänge einer wissenschaftlichen Religionspädagogik im Spannungsfeld von pädagogischer Innovation und offenbarungstheologischer Position, published by Ulrich Kropač, Berlin 2006.

Theology and education – what is the relationship of those two constitutive poles for the school subject religion? The present study seeks to examine this question by analyzing the origins of the discipline of religious education which started to develop at the beginning of the 20th century. The study’s originality lies in the fact that it combines historical and systematic theological aspects. This approach also gives room for prospective potential: indispensable positions and urgent tasks for a forward-looking religious education.


Volk Gottes im Aufbruch. 40 Jahre II. Vatikanisches Konzil (The People of God on the move. 40 years II. Vatican Council; available in German), published by Marnfred Belok / Ulrich Kropač, Zurich 2005.

The 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council gives opportunity to take a look back and remind of its lasting relevance. The announcement of a council by John XXIII. had a very spectacular effect («Paukenschlag» (A. Gasser)). Soon after, his pastoral orientation transpired as a basic course: The Council wanted to take into account the sorrows and needs of the people today, to see the signs of the times and answer to them. This volume addresses the new image of the church as the People of God, the renewal of the liturgy, the relation between theology and the teaching profession and the significance of «Gaudium et spes» as an indispensable self-commitment of the church. It is a collection of presentations held at Paulus-Akademie Zurich, the Theologische Hochschule Chur and the University of Lucerne on the occasion of the 40th anniversary.
It also includes contributions made by Franz Annen, Manfred Belok, Eva-Maria Faber, Albert Gasser, Helmut Krätzl, Wolfgang Müller, Otto Hermann Pesch. 


Subjektwerdung und religiöses Leben. Für eine Religionspädagogik, die den Menschen ernst nimmt (FS Georg Hilger), published by Matthias Bahr / Ulrich Kropač / Mirjam Schambeck, Munich 2005.

Taking children and youths as subjects of religious learning seriously and what this approach means for religious education in general? How are today’s experiences connected to religious and church traditions? What does religious learning look like today and tomorrow? How can religious education approach topics such as current experiences of suffering, terror and violence?

The present publication seeks to examine such important questions in the field of religious education and submits the current debate to a number of contributions leading new ways. Fundamental questions around the topic of religious education and learning are approached in an innovative and interdenominational way.


Ulrich Kropač: Naturwissenschaft und Theologie im Dialog. Umbrüche in der naturwissenschaftlichen und logisch-mathematischen Erkenntnis als Herausforderung zu einem Gespräch. Berlin 1998.

The relation between natural sciences and theology was largely seen as a process of ever-increasing alienation leading to outright hostility since the condemnation of Galileo. This confrontation coined today’s dominating model of separation which allows for a tension-free coexistence of both sciences based on reciprocal irrelevance. The present study pleads for a replacement of this model and opts for a dialogical relationship between natural sciences and theology.