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Exploring Single and Multiple Religious Belonging

In: Journal of Empirical Theology
Authors:
Joantine Berghuijs Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Hans Schilderman Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

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André van der Braak Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Manuela Kalsky Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Abstract

This contribution studies the notion of single and multiple religious belonging in a sample of 265 Dutch respondents. We will first focus on modalities of religious belonging and subsequently compare those who claim to draw from just one religion (the monoreligious) with those who indicate that they combine elements from different religious traditions (the multireligious) in terms of their intensities and styles of belonging, loyalty and mobility, and motivations for belonging. In general, multireligious respondents are characterized by their larger flexibility in religious matters as they tend to focus on similarities and common elements in different religions, and less on boundaries between them. By being loyal to themselves in the first place, they feel free to adopt and to leave behind religious beliefs and communities. Emotional and institutional bonds for each religion appear to be less strong than for monoreligious individuals in relation to their single religion.

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