The NORFACE programme Re-emergence of Religion as a Social Force in Europe probed the condition of religion in Europe against the background of European secularism. Also the programme investigated the re-kindling of religious activity brought about by the political and social changes in Europe of the past thirty years. The ten innovative and methodologically varied academic research projects investigated the significance of religion in contemporary social life. Furthermore they explored the social and cultural impacts of recent religious growth points, such as Islam and Pentecostalism. New theories and methods were designed to explain the ways in which religion and faith are re-emerging.
The scientific objectives of the research programme have been to support excellent research in NORFACE partner countries; promote and support coordination between researchers from NORFACE partner countries, especially researchers early in their careers; coordinate scattered capacities funded through the NORFACE partner agencies within the theme of the research programme; build on an area where the NORFACE countries working together have an opportunity to contribute to the development of the social sciences globally; and increase the visibility of European social science research on a specified theme.