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Engaging with Conflicts in Mediatized Religious Environments (CoMRel) (completed)

This project examines how religion in public conflicts becomes thematised and enacted through mass media and social media and further articulated in social interaction. 

The project was concluded 30.08.2018: A summary of the results.

Front of av book by Knut Lundby Contesting Religion. 

The book from the project is available open access for free download from De Gruyter. Also accessible as paperback.

The full list of publications and presentations.

Four figures of humans with different symbols instead of their head, like cross and crescent. Illustration.
Religion Stencil.

This project studies the intertwined role of media and religion in conflicts and tensions in contemporary Norway and the other Scandinavian societies.

The project is theoretically informed by research on mediatization of religion.

The social tensions that are addressed revolve around uses of public spaces.

The studies relate to three arenas where people engage in conflicts over religious symbols, items and claims that are made visible through the media. See subprojects.


A) Contested visibility in public service media. Case studies in the main public service broadcasters in Scandinavia.

B) Conflictual interactions in mixed localities, where the population has a large segment of Muslims. Comparing communities in the Oslo and Kristiansand areas in Norway.

C) Mediatized conflicts in public schools. Classroom interaction in secondary schools with pupils from varied religious backgrounds.


Audun Toft 13 September defended his PhD thesis on "Conflict and Entertainment. Media influence on Religious Education in Upper Secondary School in Norway" at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society. His project has been part of CoMRel.

D) Survey in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Activities and attitudes in relation to media and religion in the three Scandinavian countries.

En gruppe mennesker i sommersol.
The ComRel team during a break in project seminar at Metochi study centre, Lesbos, May 2016. In front from left: Liv Ingeborg Lied and the two advisors Marie Gillespie and Lynn Schofield Clark. Middle row from left: Mia Lövheim, David Herbert, Louise Lund Liebmann. Mattias Pape Rosenfeldt. Back row from left: Knut Lundby, Audun Toft, Mona Abdel-Fadil, Pål Repstad, Stig Hjarvard. In the tree: Maximillian Broberg.


Religion going public står det med bokstaver. Banner.


CoMReL is pleased to announce the launch of the Religion: Going Public blog which discusses various aspects of contemporary religion in the public sphere, and aims to disseminate on-going research findings to wider audiences and engage with and inform public debates on religion. Religion: Going Public develops out of a collaboration between researchers in three research projects funded by the Norwegian Research Council’s SAMKUL program: Engaging with Conflicts in Mediatized Religious Environments (CoMRel), Good Protestant, Bad Religion? Formatting Religion in Modern Society (GOBA), and Muslim Politics and Governance of Islam: Interactions of Structure and Culture in Multi-religious Europe.

For more info and the latest blog posts, check out:

Project partners

University of Oslo has collaboration with the University of Agder, MF Norwegian School of Teology, University of Copenhagen and Uppsala University.

Project period

From 1st October 2014 to 30 August 2018.


The project is funded by Research Council of Norway under the Programme for Cultural Conditions Underlying Social Change (SAMKUL) as well as by the contributing institutions.

Related projects

Participants of CoMRel project (June 2015)
CoMRel's participants from left to right: Audun Toft, Marie Gillespie (on advisory board), Knut Lundby, Birgit Meyer (on advisory board), Liv Ingeborg Lied, Mia Lövheim, David Herbert, Mattias Pape Rosenfeldt, Linnea Jensdotter, Mona Abdel-Fadil, Maximilan Broberg, Haakon H. Jernsletten and Stig Hjarvard. Pål Repstad and Louise Lund Liebmann were not present when the picture was taken. (Photo: CoMRel)


Published Sep. 19, 2014 11:40 AM - Last modified Apr. 17, 2020 2:46 PM