Ontworsteling en ontworteling - Kleine verhalen achter een groot verhaal over religie | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X


The recent come-back of master narratives illustrates the political turn in the historical discipline. Poststructural and postmodernist theoretical approaches to history in the past decades have resulted in plural or even fragmented views on the past that are not considered helpful in the search for a coherent national identity. In response to the call for grand and coherent views on the Dutch and their history, a new historical canon was presented in 2007. This canon illustrates the central role of Christian religion in the grand narrative of the Dutch past – a past that is definitely over in a country that profiles itself as secularized. Although this view on religion fits in smoothly with the – by now discredited – secularization thesis it reflects only a partial view on religion and does not account for expressions and meanings of religion beyond the church-based institutions. Historians, historians of religion in particular, have to come to terms with the often capricious role of human agency in religion, in past and present. Contemporary literature, I argue in this article, provides ‘small stories’ of belief and faith that help to re-conceptualize religion as dynamic, lived religion that defies the existing master narrative.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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