De innige banden van religie met radicalisme

Translated title of the contribution: The intimate links of religion with radicalism

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Radicalism, meaning here complete dedication to a cause, even at the risk of one’s own life, is not an epiphenomenon nor a derailment of religion. It is an ingrained tendency within religion and of a frequency, not occurred in other domains like politics, the economy or science. The root cause of this intimate link of religion with radicalism is the opening up within religion of an utopian dimension. Equipped furthermore with distinctive institutions and with claims of religious omnivalence – of being valid in all walks of life – religions thus present a potent vantage point from which life and society can be criticized and called up for conversion and reform. Religious radicalism accounts for much of the prominence and visibility of religion in society. There are many forms of religious radicalism, most of them peaceful in character. Distinction will be made between ordinary and extra-ordinary radicalism and establishment and anti-establishment radicalism. Reducing religious radicalism to violence or ill-fated extremism, is not only factually wrong. It also means underestimating the importance and role of religious radicalism for religion – and society.
Translated title of the contributionThe intimate links of religion with radicalism
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalReligie & Samenleving
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • religion
  • radicalism


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