Who gets excluded from 'Christian culture'?

A major working paper has been published by 2020 IASH-Alwaleed Research Fellow Dr Daan Beekers.

The Alwaleed Centre was delighted to welcome anthropologist Dr Daan Beekers to the team, firstly as a Visiting Fellow and then as an IASH-Alwaleed Research Fellow. During his time at the Centre, Dr Beekers produced a major working paper based on research undertaken as part of the research project 'Religious Matters in an Entangled World' at Utrecht University.

The full paper, entitled 'Who gets excluded from ‘Christian culture’? On culturalised religion, Islam and confessional Christianity' can be accessed via the link below.

Paper Abstract

'The re-articulation of Christian religion as national (or European) culture has emerged as a widespread trend in current debates about religion in Europe. This has important implications for processes of inclusion and exclusion, since, if Europe is defined in terms of its Christian heritage and identity, the question arises who is being excluded from that symbolic realm. Taking up this question, this paper focuses on the Netherlands, a country that is at once characterised by widespread anti-religious sentiments and a growing reorientation on Christian heritage and culture in public and political debates. The paper examines two different expressions of what can be termed ‘culturalised Christianity’: the mobilisation of Christian identity in populist politics and the embrace of Christian heritage in debates about closed and re-purposed church buildings. Exploring the similarities and differences between these expressions, I demonstrate that the culturalisation of Christianity in the Netherlands comes with antagonist stances towards confessional religious communities, not just Muslim but also Christian ones. I further argue that while these manifestations of what can be termed identitarian Christianity and heritage Christianity differ in important ways, they share an underlying desire for rearticulating a sense of self and belonging with reference to a presumed collective past.