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Open Theology

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Multiple Religious Belonging in the Netherlands: An Empirical Approach to Hybrid Religiosity

Joantine Berghuijs
Published Online: 2017-01-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0003

Abstract

Dutch society is highly secularized in terms of decreasing church membership and church attendance. Meanwhile, there are many ‘religious creatives’ who fulfil their need for meaning by using multiple religious sources. This paper presents an empirical investigation into the occurrence and nature of hybrid religion in the Netherlands, seen as ‘multiple religious belonging’ (MRB). After a number of global indications of the importance of MRB, this is the first attempt to quantify and detail MRB in a population. A new approach to ‘religious belonging’ is developed, not in an exclusive, ‘property’ sense, but in terms of being related and feeling at home. This approach leads to a number of ‘modalities of belonging’, that can be measured per religion. To do so, a survey among a representative sample of the Dutch population was used. The survey results indicate that MRB is present among at least 23% of the population in varying combinations and intensities. They also highlight the tendency to emphasize the relatedness between religions, and the permeability and even blurring of the boundaries between them

Keywords: hybrid religiosity; multiple religious belonging; lived religion; world religions; relatedness

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About the article

Received: 2016-04-30

Accepted: 2016-09-23

Published Online: 2017-01-13

Published in Print: 2017-01-26


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 19–37, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0003.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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