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Flexible Believers in the Netherlands: A Paradigm Shift toward Transreligious Multiplicity

Manuela Kalsky
Published Online: 2017-07-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0027


The Netherlands has undergone a radical religious transformation through secularization, individualization and migration. Expressions of Christian belief are no longer strictly defined by the Church and hybrid forms of religiosity incorporating other religions have emerged. After a brief sketch of Dutch religious plurality, the author focuses on interviews with ‘flexible believers’, people who combine elements from different religious traditions and worldviews. Through interviews, she discovers a number of characteristics of these multiple religious believers (MRB) - interviewees - such as ritual praxis, identity-making processes and belonging - and reflects on their impact for the wider picture of religiosity in today‘s post-Christian Dutch network society. She concludes that hybrid forms of lived religion like mrb, present a challenge to traditional concepts of religious identity and belonging. They require a paradigm shift from an ‘either/or’ to a relational ‘as well as’ approach within a rhizomatic network of meaning.

Keywords : multiple religious belonging; hybrid religiosity; religious transformation; transreligious diversity; lived religion; rhizomatic thinking


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About the article

Received: 2017-05-08

Accepted: 2017-06-07

Published Online: 2017-07-14

Published in Print: 2017-01-26

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 345–359, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2017-0027.

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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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HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, 2018, Volume 74, Number 3

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