Category Archives: academic ramblings

Waarom het onzin is dat jongeren zich door kerkgebouwen laten bekeren

Mother's prayer. -visavis- CC / Flickr
Mother’s prayer. -visavis- CC / Flickr

Het nieuws is erg mooi: kerkgebouwen spelen een belangrijke rol in de bekering van jongeren. Opwekkend nieuws voor kerken die met een prachtig gebouw zitten, maar verder niet weten wat ze met jongeren aan moeten. Maar zoals het vaker gaat met mooi nieuws: het is te mooi om waar te zijn. Wie in de cijfers duikt, ontdekt dat er van deze boude bewering niets klopt. Verschillende twitteraars (bijvoorbeeld Hendro Munsterman en Martijn Vellekoop) pikten het bericht op en vervolgens namen journalisten (Dag6 / Nederlands Dagblad, ik kijk naar jullie) het nieuws onkritisch over. Hier een ontzenuwing van het bericht en een pleidooi om toch vooral voorbij de persberichten te kijken en zelf in cijfers te duiken. Continue reading Waarom het onzin is dat jongeren zich door kerkgebouwen laten bekeren

The sociologist’s guide for writing anthropological, lesson 2

Nouns which suggest that things are finished and uniform are to be avoided as much as possible. These run the risk of getting the stamp “essentialistic”, which is one of the Deadly Sins in writing anthropological. For the anthropologist everything is complex and in flux from one state to another. Therefore, if applicable, try to rewrite your nouns into gerunds (usu. words ending on -ing).

Examples:
politics = politicizing
religion = religioning

See Tweed’s Crossing and Dwelling. A Theory of Religions for an excellent argument on the use of gerunds.

Beyond the God delusion with Elaine Ecklund

Elaine Howard Ecklund published an interesting blogpost on the religiosity of scientists on SSRC’s The Immanent Frame weblog. The post is based on research she already has published about in Social Problems (54:2, 2007). She however does not talk about her research findings too much, but instead argues how universities could better facilitate the public discussion on religion and science. A must read for anyone interested in religion, which probably involves all of you who made it here and read this post 😉 And of course congratulations to Elaine about being asked to publish on such a prestigious weblog.

For those really interested: I had an interesting discussion two years ago on this subject here: http://religionresearch.org/marten/2005/01/13/anthropologists-are-secularists/ and here http://religionresearch.org/marten/2005/01/14/real-scientists-also-secular-or-not/

SSSR 2007 digest: books to read

Conferencing is mainly: meeting people and getting new ideas. The most important harvest of the SSSR 2007 conference is new people I know, and this must-read list. Succesful conferences last weeks, instead of days…

Bader, V. 2007. Secularism or Democracy? Associational Governance of Religious Diversity. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.

Byrnes, T. A., en P. J. Katzenstein. 2006. Religion in an Expanding Europe.

Ecklund, EH, en JZ Park. 2007. Religious Diversity and Community Volunteerism Among Asian Americans. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 46, no. 2: 233-244.

Hondagneu-Sotelo, P. 2007. Religion And Social Justice for Immigrants.

Jeung, R. 2005. Faithful Generations: Race and New Asian American Churches.

Kniss, F. L., en P. D. Numrich. 2007. Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement: How Religion Matters for America’s Newest Immigrants. Rutgers University Press.

Olupona, J. O. K., en R. Gemignani. 2007. African Immigrant Religions in America. New York University Press.

Thomas, William Isaac, en Florian Znaniecki. 1958. The Polish peasant in Europe and America,. New York: Dover Publications.

The future of the religious past

Thus, the very experience of the weakening of the foundations of religion becomes the starting point for the reconsideration of European religious heritage with reference to two specific aspects: firstly, the possibility of redefining autonomy on the basis of Judeo-Christian concepts of otherness and mutual relations, rather than as merely the liberal affirmation of an individual’s autonomy in his or her private life; secondly, the issue of dominion over nature, which might be considered, in the light of the Judeo-Christian concepts of the Creation, as something other than raw material and a source of revenue. In my opinion, the question of the “European soul” is best addressed by considering these two aspects, not by referring nostalgically to a religious past that is both glorious and painful but which has, in any case, definitively ceased to exist.

An interesting article by Hervieu Legér in Eurozine