Dr. ir. J.T. Berghuijs (Joantine)

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Postdoctoral researcher in the project ‘Multiple Religious Belonging’, together with André van der Braak, Manuela Kalsky and Daan Oostveen.
I am a researcher with a social scientific focus, broadly interested in lived religion today, and especially in the great variety of religious and spiritual expressions outside established religious institutions. In my PhD project, completed in 2013, I therefore focused on New spirituality and social engagement, studying the way people shape their lives using their own selection of spiritual sources.


In Dutch society, cultural and religious diversity increasingly lead to hybrid religiosity. Our research project aims to bridge the gap between the current, inadequate scientific discourse on religious belonging, and the empirical reality of hybrid religiosity, using the paradigm of 'multiple religious belonging' (MRB) through a hermeneutical approach in combination with an empirical approach. The Western image of religion as a unitary, organizationally defined, and relatively stable set of collective beliefs and practices, is challenged by the phenomenon of MRB. Extensive religious blending and within-group religious heterogeneity may be the norm, rather than the exception.

My focus in this project will be on the empirical approach. People's everyday religious practices rarely resemble the tidy, consistent, and theologically correct packages that official religions promote. The empirical subproject focuses on mapping out people's MRB-as-lived, including the complexities, apparent inconsistencies, heterogeneity, and untidiness of the range of religious practices, beliefs and expressions of ordinary people, rather than official spokespersons, in the context of their everyday lives. The Dutch society is an excellent environment to carry out this project: the Netherlands is considered as a highly secularized country, seen from a denominational stance, but forms of MRB are developing independently from established religions. The challenge of this empirical project is to portray the importance of this phenomenon in the Netherlands quantitatively and qualitatively.


Berghuijs, J. 2016. Multiple Religious Belonging in the Netherlands: an empirical approach to hybrid religiosity. Open Theology (in press). Bernts, T., en J. Berghuijs. 2016. God in Nederland 1966-2015. Utrecht, Ten Have. Berghuijs, J. 2016. Nieuwe spiritualiteit en sociale betrokkenheid. Psyche & Geloof 27 (1): 11-29. Berghuijs, J. 2015. Religieus buiten de lijntjes kleuren. Geruchten 45: 8-11.  

Berghuijs, J. 2015. Miljoenen Nederlanders multireligieus volgens Motivaction onderzoek. Blogbijdrage Nieuwwij, zie: http://www.nieuwwij.nl/nieuws/miljoenen-nederlanders-multireligieus-volgens-motivaction-onderzoek/ Berghuijs, J. 2014. Nieuwe spiritualiteit en sociale betrokkenheid. Religie en Samenleving 9: 181-210.             Berghuijs, J., J. Pieper, and C. Bakker. 2013. New spirituality and social engagement. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52: 775-792.   Berghuijs, J., J. Pieper, and C. Bakker. 2013. Conceptions of spirituality among the Dutch population. Archive for the Psychology of Religion 35: 369-398.    

Berghuijs, J., J. Pieper, and C. Bakker. 2013. Being ‘Spiritual’ and Being ‘Religious’ in Europe: Diverging Life Orientations. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 281: 15-32. 

Berghuijs, J. 2011. Present day spiritualities in confessional, popular, professional and aesthetic contexts: contrasts or overlap? Verslag van de expert conference op 23-24 juni 2011 ter gelegenheid van het emeritaat van Prof. Frans Maas. Tijdschrift voor theologie: 2011(4)    

Berghuijs, J. 2009. Ook buiten de kerken is er maatschappelijk heil. Trouw: 06-08-2009.    

Berghuijs, J. 2008. Spiritueel ondernemen: een onderzoek naar de commercialisering van spiritualiteit in populaire tijdschriften. Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift, 62: 225-240. 

Berghuijs, J., en A. Rots (red.). 2007. Bezield Leiden: Wereldreligies aan de Rijn. Leiden, Kosmikos.  

Berghuijs, J. 2006. Mediteren voor de wereldvrede … helpt dat? Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie 73 (2):14-17.    

Berghuijs, J. 2004. Alternatief geloven; een onderzoek naar de belangstelling voor esoterie binnen en buiten de kerk. In: J. van der Ploeg en M. van Dijk (red). Zoeter – meer tussen hemel en aarde; ziel en geweten van een moderne groeistad. Zoetermeer, Meinema, 140-143.    

Berghuijs, J. 2004. Gebedsgenezing: Proef op de som van een beproefd middel? Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie 71/4: 20-23.