‘Tua res agitur.’ Gerardus van der Leeuws visie op fenomenologie en antropologie | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 63, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268


This article explores Gerardus van der Leeuw’s view of phenomenology of religion and analyses the intricate relationship between his phenomenological and anthropological work. The conclusion is that the phenomenological method he defended is basically an hermeneutical approach in which an observer relates personally and even existentially to the ‘phenomena’ (s)he studies in order to determine their essence (). In his anthropology (that reflects on the basic structure of human beings) a similar way of relating to the world is discussed: the ‘primitive mentality’ that is characterized by the the . Both phenomenology and imply a critique of modern scholarship, which is ultimately theologically motivated. This fundamental criticism of the prevailing (historical) approach in the humanities including religious studies explains the growing distance between Van der Leeuw and the majority of students of religion in the decades after his untimely death in 1950.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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