Volume 57, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268
  • oa ‘In hoc signo vinces’ De geschiedschrijving van de godsdienstwetenschap

    *Dit artikel is een uitgebreide versie van mijn bijdrage aan het symposium ‘Godsdienstgeschiedenis en de moderne wereld’, gehouden op 27 september 2002 ter gelegenheid van het afscheid van dr. L.P. van den Bosch van de Faculteit der Godgeleerheid en Godsdienstwetenschap van de Rijksuniversiteit te Groningen. Centraal stonden hier de volgende twee studies: Lourens P. van den Bosch, Friedrich Max Müller: A Life Devoted to the Humanities, Leiden 2001, en Hans G. Kippenberg, , München 1997, vertaald als: , Princeton 2002. In mijn bijdrage richt ik mij vooral op de visie van Kippenberg.

  • By Arie L. Molendijk
  • Source: NTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion, Volume 57, Issue 4, Oct 2003, p. 291 - 307
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.5117/NTT2003.4.003.MOLE
  • Language: Dutch
    • Published online: 01 Oct 2003



How is the history of science of religion to be written? Various recent books on the history of the scholarly study of religion – prominent among them Hans G. Kippenberg’s Discovering Religious History in the Modern Age (Princeton 2002) – call for further reflection upon the historiography of the field. How to avoid the danger of writing its history in a teleological way, glorifying the present status quo? Is all research on religion to be included in the historiography, or do we have to limit ourselves to the more or less clearly demarcated ‘discipline’ ‘science/history of religion’? Can the narrative of the emergence of the field of the scholarly study of religion in the nineteenth century be related (exclusively) to processes of modernization? What is the role of institutions in the establishment of the field? These questions are dealt with in this tentative essay on – what I would prefer to call – the ‘construction’ of a field, which at the beginning of the twenty-first century is again a somewhat conflicted intellectual endeavour, drawing the attention of many people, who want to understand what is going on in the rapidly changing worlds of late modernity.


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