Sociology of religion in the Netherlands

Kees de Groot, Erik Sengers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


In 1960, the Dutch journal of the Catholic Social-Ecclesial Institute (Kaski) Sociaal Kompas became Social Compass. This shift rounded off a period now considered as the heyday of Dutch sociology of religion. Ironically, in those years, Catholic sociologists in particular contested the legitimacy of taking religion as an object of sociological study. Each period in the history of sociology of religion appears to present a different face of it due to the interplay between the political field, the religious field, and the academic field – and the self-identification as sociologists of religion is not self-evident.
After 1980, further secularization resulted in a subsequent decline of chairs in sociology of religion. As direct, competitive government funding of academic research gained traction, the social-scientific study of religion continues to be funded. In so far as politicians and religious professionals continue to be concerned about issues such as the rise of Islam and new spirituality, the call for the social-scientific study of religion remains. The identification of these researchers with sociology of religion as a specialty, however, is less self-evident. What makes a sociologist of religion?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociologies of religion
Subtitle of host publicationNational traditions
EditorsAnthony J. Blasi, Giuseppe Giordan
Place of PublicationLeiden/Boston
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9789004297586
ISBN (Print)9789004297296
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
EventBritish Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group Annual Conference - Kingston University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 20159 Jul 2015

Publication series

NameReligion and the social order
ISSN (Print)1061-5210


ConferenceBritish Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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