TheAnnual of European and Global Studies (AEGS) is an independent scholarly periodical, based in the Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies at the University of Wrocław (Poland). Its aim is to publish once a year a collection of articles with a shared thematic focus, dealing with European and global issues. The main goal of AEGS is to present wide-ranging scholarly reflections on paradigms, theories and problems concerning European and global developments and their background. In so doing, the Annual will strive for a genuine global dialogue of scholarly perspectives from different regions around the world. Willfried Spohn played a central role in establishing the Annual during his time at the Willy Brandt Centre (2010–12). His intellect, experience and collegiality were essential for the formulation and realisation of this project. The volume is dedicated to the memory of Willfried.
It seems fitting to begin this series with a volume on religion and politics, and all the more so because it links up with Willfried Spohn's published work and unfinished research projects. There are several weighty reasons to treat this theme as a key connecting link between European and global affairs. Debates on religion, its role and its prospects in the contemporary world have to a high degree focused on contrasts between Europe and other parts of the world; the long-established assumption that modern societies are on a secularising path seems, whatever the problems arising on closer examination, to have a stronger claim to validity in Europe than elsewhere.