Research in Sociology of Religion

Over the past several years, the religious landscapes of Madrid and Barcelona have changed significantly. On the one hand, processes of diversification have led to a growth of minority religions such as Islam, Protestantism and Sikhism. The presence of these religions has increased primarily as a result of global migration. On the other hand, there has been a significant rise in new forms of religiosity that lie at the crossroads of the magical, the spiritual and the therapeutic. Finally, we also observe that the Catholic Church has repositioned itself in this new scenario, adopting new models of intervention in the public sphere. At the same time, several groups and organizations have mobilized to demand that public space be more secular.

These transformations have generated an increase in public expressions of religiosity in the streets, squares, and public spaces of Madrid and Barcelona. Catholic processions, Sikh festivities such as Vaisakhi, Buddhist meditations in city squares, Evangelical baptisms on the beach, and celebrations of the end of Ramadan in public parks are some of the most prominent public expressions of religiosity in the two cities.

Our research project focuses on these public expressions of religiosity, approaching them as privileged sites for identifying, understanding and explaining the transformation of Spain’s contemporary religious landscape, and the challenges that arise from the diversification and increasing visibility of religious diversity.

The project has three main objectives: 1) to identify religious communities’ strategies of becoming visible and repertoires of mobilization; 2) to study the tensions, negotiations, and agreements between local administrations, religious actors, and civil society; and 3) to understand the dynamics of problematization and / or social recognition in regard to these religious expressions in the public space.


  • Salguero, O. (2018). “A Diachronic View of the Spaces of Islam in Melilla” a: Planet Contreras, A. I. (ed.). Observing Islam in Spain. Contemporary Politics and Social Dynamics. Leiden: Brill.
  • Ares, A., Eguren, J. (2017). Los movimientos migratorios en las fronteras iberoamericanas. Kamar S.A.
  • Astor, A., Burchardt, M., Griera, M. (2017). “The Politics of Religious Heritage: Making Claims to Religion as Culture”. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 56(1), pp.126-142.
  • Burchardt, M. (2017). “Diversity as neoliberal governmentality: Towards a new sociological genealogy of religion.” Social Compass. 64(2): 180–193.
  • Cadge, W., Griera, M., Lucken, K., Michalowski, I. (2017). “Afterword: On the Study of Religion in Public Institutions”. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 56(2): 255-258.
  • Cornejo, M., Pichardo, J.I (2017). “From the pulpit to the streets. Religious activism against gender issues in Spain”. In: Paternotte, D., Kuhar, R. (eds.) Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe. Mobilizing against Equality. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Pub.
  • Griera, M. (en premsa). “Counting and mapping religious diversity: methodological challenges, unintended consequences and political implications”. In Khüle, L (ed.) A Critical Analysis of Religious Diversity. Springer.
  • Griera, M., Astor, A. (2016). “La gestión de la diversidad religiosa en la España contemporánea”. Anuario CIDOB de la Inmigración 2015-2016, pp. 248-270.
  • Carbonelli, M., Griera, M. (2016). “Políticas públicas y religión: arreglos, continuidades y tensiones”. Revista Sociedad y Religión, 26(46), pp. 155-162.
  • Cornejo, M. (2016). “Gobernanza y Cultura. Pero ¿qué cultura? Implicaciones del concepto de cultura en la implementación de la gobernanza”.In: García Magariño. S (ed.) La Gobernanza y sus enfoques. Madrid: Delta Publicaciones.
  • Eguren, J. (2016). “Una aproximación a las experiencias religiosas y étnicas de los jóvenes de segunda generación en España”. Revista del Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, Migraciones Internacionales. 120, pp. 49 – 70.
  • Griera, M. (2016). “The governance of religious diversity in stateless nations: the case of Catalonia”. Religion, State & Society, 44(1): 13-31.
  • Montañés, A. (2016). “Etnicidad e identidad gitana en los cultos pentecostales de la ciudad de Madrid. El caso de la“Iglesia Evangélica de Filadelfia” y el “Centro Cristiano Vino Nuevo el Rey Jesús” Papeles del CEIC, vol. 2016/2, papel 158, CEIC (Centro de Estudios sobre la Identidad Colectiva), Universidad del País Vasco.
  • Rodríguez Medela, J., Salguero Montaño, Ó., Sánchez Cota, A. (2016). Cartografía de la Ciudad Capitalista. Transformación urbana y conflicto social en el Estado español, Madrid: Traficantes de sueños.