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Trajecta : Religion, Culture and Society in the Low Countries
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0778-8304 - ISSN (Online) 2665-9484
Published by Amsterdam University Press Homepage  [19 journals]
  • Heritage and Religious Change in Contemporary Europe: Interactions Along
           Three Axes

    • Authors: Todd H. Weir
      Abstract: AbstractThis article examines the relationship between heritage and three dimensions of religious change that have characterized Europe since the 1960s, namely secularization, pluralization, and spiritualization. Following an analysis of the role of religious heritage in both public discourse and academia, the essay turns to recent heritage initiatives, and explores how churches, secular organizations and government agencies have responded to the shifting religious landscape in their heritage work. The article shows that while secularization, understood here as declining participation in traditional religious congregations, has forced churches and synagogues to change hands and find new uses, it has also made possible new types of secular-religious cooperation in heritage that moves in a postsecular direction. The diversification of European society, which features the growth of new religious communities, has prompted some to mobilize tropes of “Christian” or “Judeo-Christian-Humanist” heritage to exclude religious minorities. At the same time, growing diversity has also led to calls to pluralize Europe’s religious heritage. Grassroots and top-down efforts to recover the presence of minorities in Europe in past decades have flourished. Finally, the article explores spiritualization as a religious activity that highlights creativity in the ongoing meaning making that constitutes heritage work today.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01T00:00:00Z
  • What Gender Does to Religious Institutions

    • Authors: Sarah Barthélemy
      Abstract: AbstractRecently, significant contributions to the study of religion and gender have been made, as evidenced by Belgian and Dutch literature, amongst others. Joan W. Scott has pointed out that, in these studies, gender is expressed and analyzed as a multi-layered concept – it can represent power, social institutions, or organization. It can express ideas of subjective identity and what is normative. This article explores religious female congregations of the Catholic Church in the first half of the nineteenth century and focuses on power relationships. It unpacks the use of gender in religious history and demonstrates that a gendered history of Catholic institutions is possible even when men define the institutional framework and exclude the women who are, in fact, already a part of it.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01T00:00:00Z
  • Van actieve religieuzen naar activistische religieuzen en weer terug

    • Authors: Charles M.A. Caspers
      Abstract: AbstractIn the spirit of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the Daughters of Mary and Joseph, a sister congregation founded in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in 1820, adapted themselves in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century to the changed and changing society. The abandonment of rigid authority structures and the move to permanent education brought a sense of liberation to many of them. It activated them to work for the betterment of the poor and the oppressed, at home and in the mission. Inevitably, the rapid social changes in many sisters also led to alienation and distancing from their spiritual heritage and thus also from the raison d’être of the Congregation. Thanks to fundamental studies that appeared in the eighties and nineties in the field of the spirituality of religious life, they reaffirmed their heritage and thus their individuality as a religious community. Within this spiritual climate, mutual understanding grew between the sisters in the Netherlands and their fellow sisters in Indonesia.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01T00:00:00Z
  • ‘Ik was in de gevangenis en gij hebt Mij bezocht’

    • Authors: Joep van Gennip
      Abstract: AbstractIn the years after the Second World War, the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands played a significant role in providing spiritual and social care to political prisoners and their families, both within and outside residential and internment camps. Although this is mentioned in historical studies, systematic research is still lacking. This article bridges this gap and introduces this theme as a research subject. In the immediate aftermath of the war, the Dutch government tasked Catholic chaplains and their Protestant colleagues to do pastoral and social work in detention and internment camps. This chaplaincy, centralised by the Dutch Catholic Church, was mainly dominated by their regular clergy. Ecumenical cooperation was sought when alleged government abuses in the camps were being investigated, or during campaigns to educate the Dutch population in the message of clemency and forgiveness for small political offenses. There were also Catholic initiatives to help ex-political prisoners re-integrate into society. These initiatives often varied by diocese. Attempts to set up a centralized organisation for this work, in the form of the Dutch Vatican Mission, and later through Catholic charities, failed due to mismanagement. Although at first reluctant to cooperate with the semi-public ‘Association for the Supervision of Political Delinquents’, the Church soon became a partner and helped re-integrate Catholic political delinquents. Several Catholic institutions were involved, and high ranking political (KVP) and religious networks played an important role in shaping a ‘mutual’ policy. Motives for the clergy to help (ex-)political delinquents were numerous. Some had notions of mercy, forgiveness and Christian charity, and some saw this as a project of moral re-education and ‘opportunistic conversions. Finally, there were those clergy who feared the prisoners would divorce their partners, while other tried to prevent the growing communist influence on the former political prisoners.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01T00:00:00Z
  • Gefnuikte heilsverwachting

    • Authors: H. Nico Plomp
      Abstract: AbstractThe movement of Christenen voor het Socialisme (CvS, Christians for Socialism) existed in the Netherlands from 1974 to 1993. It was the radical variant of the renewal movement of the sixties that came about when churches and confessional political parties began to emphasize the need for radical social and political commitment within the Christian faith. CvS strived for a new contemporary identity by uniting Christianity and Marxism, two forces hitherto considered incompatible. CvS was part of an international movement that reflected the polarized political and social situation especially in South America, where the mix of Christianity and Marxism was known as “Liberation Theology” and in Europe perennially threatened by the Cold War. This article investigates the rise of CvS as a fundamentalist movement and explores its development towards a differentiated progressive mentality group. In the end, CvS did not survive. Its decline is described and interpreted against the backdrop of a changing political and religious environment.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01T00:00:00Z
  • Literature alerts

    • Authors: George Harinck; Hans Krabbendam, Kristien Suenens, Amr Ryad Bart Wallet
      PubDate: 2021-10-01T00:00:00Z
  • Introduction: Religion and revolution, the 1960s and the religious history
           of the Low Countries

    • Authors: Bart Wallet
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Claiming Conscripts

    • Authors: Leonard van ’t Hul
      Abstract: AbstractThe twentieth century is widely considered a period in which Christendom lost its central position in the West. In the Netherlands, the influx of counter-cultural ideas and beliefs from the 1960s onwards brought about a decline in church membership and voter turnout for Christian parties. Simultaneously, societal critiques grew louder against the state’s accommodation of religion and its privileged positioning of Christianity. This article argues that the societal shifts stemming from the cultural turn of the 1960s, did not result in structural changes in the dialogue between church and state. I use the political negotiations that addressed spiritual care in the Dutch armed forces between 1946 and 1984 as a case study. My focus is on the Humanist League’s drive to obtain for the Humanist Service for Spiritual Care a status equal to that enjoyed by the churches. My analysis shows that the Humanist League mounted a forceful struggle to get access both before and after the 1960s. While the Humanist Service was formally installed in the army in 1967, no structural adaptations to the criterion to distribute positions followed. The ministry of Defense was unprepared to accommodate the humanists, and church-organizations were unwilling to give up their privileged position without a fight. The continuity in Dutch church-state relations and the comparative maneuverability of the churches can be understood by emphasizing the reluctance of state-actors to adapt existing policies. It is the degree of what I call institutional integration of religious organizations with the state which determined the leverage of institutions.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Youth Work for Baby Boomers

    • Authors: Fred van Lieburg
      Abstract: AbstractThis article deals with the first decades of the Reformed Youth Council of the Netherlands Reformed Church. It was founded in 1941 to challenge young people in local congregations to join the public task of the national Protestant church. Because religious youth work had been left to particular organisations for many years previously, tensions between them and the new umbrella movement had to wait until after World War II to be resolved. Meanwhile, all parties were faced with the general decline of traditional club life and the call for ‘open youth work’ in the form of societal criticism and activism in the ‘roaring sixties’. Curiously, both the orthodox wing of the church and the evangelical Youth for Christ movement succeeded in keeping young people committed to personal faith. Most baby boomers, however, would find their religious place outside organised religion.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Catholicism: stumbling or starting block for sustainable development'

    • Authors: Hanne-Lise Frateur
      Abstract: AbstractIn considering Broederlijk Delen, the Flemish Catholic development NGO, it is instructive to understand the role of its Catholic affiliation in its changing interpretation of development aid, and in particular, its evolving ideas on sustainability as the essential ecological principal. From the end of the 1960s to 1990, Broederlijk Delen gradually introduced elements into its discourse and operations that originally were not ecologically inspired, but were later woven into its ideas on sustainability. The question is, did these elements spring from and connect to Catholicism' The article also traces how affiliation with Catholicism hindered ecological concerns by introducing elements at odds with the environmentalism. The notion of moderation deduced from Christian Lent figured centrally in Broederlijk Delen’s evolution in thinking about development. Other elements played a role in Broederlijk Delen’s emerging ideas as well, such as respect for human dignity, land ownership of the poor, and the Appropriate Technology Movement. Overall, religion played a subtle defensive role and was a response to leftist aspects in Broederlijk Delen’s operation when it turned to ecology.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Een doodgewoon Rooms boek'

    • Authors: Maarten van den Bos
      Abstract: AbstractAfter publication of De Nieuwe Katechismus (translated mostly as The Dutch Catechism, literally: The New Catechism) in 1966, a harsh conflict broke out between the authors of the book and the Vatican. According to censors appointed by the Vatican, the book may have not contained heresy, but some parts were not in accordance with the Church’s teachings. Three years later, an appendix was published. The appendix was accepted by the Dutch episcopacy, responsible for the book, but the authors remained in opposition. They considered De Nieuwe Katechismus to be nothing more than ‘just another catholic book’. Both in older as more recent studies on (Dutch) Catholicism in the sixties, the conflict on the De Nieuwe Katechismus frequently appears as showcase for the troubled relations between the progressive Dutch church province and the orthodox or conservative powers in the Vatican. Meanwhile, both the conception and content of the book are poorly analysed. In this article, I present a contextualised history of the book and the ideas of its authors of what it meant to be catholic in the modern age. Conclusion is that, in order to truly understand both the religious revolution of the sixties and the provenance of important ideas on self-expression and self-fulfilment that shaped our understanding of modernity after the sixties, we ought to take a closer look on new perspectives on modernity and religion that arose in religious communities after the Second World War. From that perspective, the ideas behind the publication of De Nieuwe Katechismus is of greater historiographical relevance then the conflict that broke out after publication.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Opvallend orthodox

    • Authors: Christoph van den Belt
      Abstract: A new newspaper, the Reformatorisch Dagblad (RD), came into existence in the sixties. The driving force behind its emergence was the dissatisfaction over the social changes at the time. Many Orthodox Protestants of the time had the feeling that trusted certainties, in terms of sexual morality, the Sunday and the authority, have been suddenly relinquished. Media such as Trouw played an important role in this process. Unlike before, this daily newspaper wanted to organise discussions, even about Holy Houses. The RD had to safeguard the certainties and protect the Orthodox Protestant environment from society. Therefore, the symbols of the sixties, such as sports and television, were excluded from the new newspaper. Owing to this disposition and the binding to the Orthodox Protestants, the RD holds a unique position in Dutch journalism. Only by going back to the sixties will it be possible to comprehend this newspaper.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Pionier tegen wil en dank

    • Authors: Charlotte Ardui; Sven Sterken
      Abstract: AbstractContrary to popular belief, almost as many churches were built in Flanders after the Second World War as in the first half of the 20th century. Besides obvious stylistic differences, the post-war churches were above all distinctive in terms of their location and typology. In the first place, they were a response to the strong demographic growth and the spatial policy (or rather: the lack thereof) that led to a ubiquitous expansion with new developments in the periphery of the existing cities. In addition, the changing role of the Catholic Church in the post-war society also called for different kind of church buildings; the sense of community became central. In Flanders, this theological, liturgical and typological quest was best expressed in the work of Marc Dessauvage (1931-1981); as unofficial architect of the archdiocese, he built twelve churches and two chapels in ten years. However, the progressive élan embodied in his oeuvre was rather short-lived: from the 1970s onwards, its public support disappeared systematically. Dessauvage’s churches proved to be especially vulnerable in this process: because of their peripheral location, often poor building physics and brutalist style, they were the first victims of the rationalisation of the parish landscape that was imposed from the 1980s onward. This article discusses the Sint-Jozef Arbeiderkerk in Vosselaar, which Dessauvage built between 1959 and 1967. The hypothesis is that this building is not only particularly representative of the cultural context of the 1960s, but can also be considered a pilot project from both a historical and a contemporary perspective. It embodies, like no other, the innovative vision of church-building favoured by the progressive Catholic elite in the context of Vatican II, and also it fulfils a pioneering role today as the first listed parish church in Flanders to be given a radically different purpose. A brief sketch of the genesis of this building and its subsequent experience, together with a critical look at its current adaptive reuse, allows us to make some general statements about the historical significance and future stance of post-conciliar churches, and those of Dessauvage in particular.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Uit beeld verdwenen

    • Authors: Wouter Prins
      Abstract: AbstractMore than in music, literature or film, religion faded into the background in the visual arts during the 1960s. The close, longtime connection between Western visual art and Christianity and its visual language seemed to have been lost. In particular in the Netherlands, for a century most loyal to the authority of Rome, religious art was discredited. It was only in the course of the 1980s that interest in religious art returned, albeit modest and cautious. In 2021 there are new opportunities for the visual arts. Although the churches are struggling with empty pews, the church building remains an inspiring environment for artists. In addition, the number of artists with a migration background is increasing. Religion plays an important role within this group, which is reflected in the themes that are depicted.
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • ‘Je moet als historicus het geloof niet opsluiten in kerkelijke

    • Authors: Wim Berkelaar
      PubDate: 2021-03-01T00:00:00Z
  • Franciscan Women Religious in Nineteenth-Century Belgium

    • Authors: Kristien Suenens
      Abstract: AbstractThis article examines the revival of female Franciscan religious communities in the nineteenth-century as a platform for analyzing the mechanisms and networks behind the restoration and renewal of female convent life in Belgium. The analysis is conducted from a threefold perspective: the specific role of male and female protagonists, the struggle with old and new identities, and the material backgrounds of the revival. The diverse landscape of old and new, contemplative and apostolic, and urban and rural Franciscan convents and congregations offers an interesting platform for research. The interaction between secular clergy, lay and religious women and the male Friars Minor is examined within the context of changing political regimes, social changes, religious revival and diocesan centralization. Mechanisms of material recovery and the (re-)constructions of gendered, canonical and religious identities are used as a framework for evaluating the importance of old and new models and examining to what extent this nineteenth-century history was a genuine Franciscan revival.
      PubDate: 2020-12-01T00:00:00Z
  • Decentering the Status Quo

    • Authors: Jan Adriaan Schlebusch
      Abstract: AbstractIn his strategic political positioning and engagement in the nineteenth century, Groen van Prinsterer looked towards both the past and the future. Rhetorically, he appealed to the past as a vindication of the truth and practicality of his anti-revolutionary position. He also expressed optimism for the success of his convictions and political goals in the future. This optimism was reflected in the confidence with which he engaged politically, despite experiencing numerous setbacks in his career. Relying on the phenomenological-narrative approach of David Carr, I highlight the motives and strategies behind Groen’s political activity, and reveal that the past and the future in Groen’s narrative provide the strategic framework for his rhetoric, and the basis for his activism. I accentuate how the emphasis of his narrative shifts away from the status quo and thus enables a type of political engagement that proved historically significant for the early consolidation of the Dutch constitutional democracy.
      PubDate: 2020-12-01T00:00:00Z
  • Catholic Patriotism and Suffering in the Wartime Letters of the Belgian
           Mystic Berthe Petit

    • Authors: Tine Van Osselaer
      Abstract: AbstractThis article focuses on the use of patriotic feelings and shared experiences of suffering to promote a new devotion. Studying her wartime letter-writing campaign, we examine the strategies that the Belgian mystic Berthe Petit (1870-1943) adopted to promote the devotion of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. By examining the letter writing of Petit and her father confessor during the Great War, we will show how, in 1909, the campaign initially focused on her own mystical experiences and corporeal suffering, but shifted during the war to emphasize that the future of Belgium, France and Britain, was linked to their consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Stressing the historicity of the mystic, we show how the war (1) provided new opportunities for mystically inspired, non-approved devotions; and (2) how the uncertainties and sorrows of the Great War offered female mystics new openings and lines of thought to explore.
      PubDate: 2020-12-01T00:00:00Z
  • Muslim Women’s Activism and Organizations in the Netherlands and

    • Authors: Margaretha A. van Es; Nella van den Brandt
      Abstract: AbstractThis article is a thematic exploration of the organizations that Muslim women have established in the Netherlands and Belgium since the 1970s, and the forms of activism they have engaged in. The article provides insight into the complex dynamic between the lived experience of Muslim women in Dutch and Flemish societies, the shifting forms of their collective identities, and their efforts to bring about social change. We discuss the early organizational activities of migrant women from predominantly Muslim countries during the first few decades after their arrival. We explain the emergence of Islamic organizations and the growing participation of women in these organizations. We also explore the attempts made by Muslim women for feminist mobilization across ethnic and religious boundaries. Finally, we examine Muslim women’s engagement in (mixed-gender) anti-racist and LGBTQ movements. Our results indicate a rising visibility of Muslim women’s activism in the public sphere, and an increase in transversal mobilizations across ethnic and religious boundaries. The article concludes with the latest developments in Muslim women’s activism, and provides suggestions for future research.
      PubDate: 2020-12-01T00:00:00Z
  • Literature alerts

    • Authors: Kim Christiaens; George Harinck, Koos-jan de Jager, Hans Krabbendam, Kristien Suenens, Amr Ryad, Bart Wallet Sabine Wolsink
      PubDate: 2020-12-01T00:00:00Z
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