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The question, which this article deals with, is whether or not, and if so, to what extent religious socialization succeeded or failed. It focuses on the belief of life after death, which is an exemplary theme, that belongs to the very core of the Christian faith. Several religious-thanatalogical approaches within this belief are empirically investigated, like for instance the teleology, interaction, intervention, rising, deism, agnosticism, immanentism, and reincarnation models. A considerable number of factors within religious socialization, which may influence the belief in life after death, are taken into consideration, as for example parents' religiosity, religious communication in the family, religious education in school, and the influence on the level of religious knowledge. The research result is that religious socialization is a key factor in causing both the presence and (!) absence of this belief, but that the influence of the cultural context may not be overlooked: it plays an important role as well. The research population is an aselect sample, which is drawn from the student population of Nijmegen University in The Netherlands.

In: Journal of Empirical Theology
In: Social Constructionism and Theology
In: Human Rights and the Impact of Religion


The article tries to explain the notion that practical theology is normative, not despite but because of its empirical character, as follows. A condition for the claim that practical theology is a normative science is that the empirical research conducted in this discipline must not be positivist but should be seen as wholly theory-laden. For the normative orientation itself, with reference to one of the founders of empirical methodology, Karl Popper, the article is focussing more particularly on the goal and the application of the results of empirical research. However, the methodical and technical "linkage" between goal and results is no less normative, in practical theology as well. With special reference to the complementary relation between qualitative and quantitative methods, this point will be argue. This leads to a critical reflection on evaluation, which should be the culmination of every form of empirical research. A conclusion I reflect critically on the praxis concept in practical theology.

In: Journal of Empirical Theology
In: Freedom of Religion in the 21st Century
A Theological Search in Texts and Tables
Everywhere in the western world the process of secularization leads to the decline of faith in God. The concept of secularization itself, however, has come under attack by critics who believe that it does not adequately account for processes which may be part of a certain renascence, as marginal and unrecognized as it may be, of belief in God. Whether these processes are actually taking place, and whether this renascence, if such it is, will bring about a transformation of that belief are questions still waiting to be answered. Are we witnessing the (re)creation of God images, or the (re)discovery of God? The tension between (re)creation and (re)discovery lies at the root of this book and its title, which has been framed very intentionally as a question: God Reinvented?
In: Religion inside and outside Traditional Institutions
In: Discourse in Ritual Studies
Brill’s series Empirical Research in Religion and Human Rights publishes the results of empirical research on the mutual influences of different religions and human rights. The series focuses on studying people’s views on human rights and human rights policy as related to their religious convictions by using data from international comparative research. In doing so, the series aims at becoming an international outlet for the study of religion and human rights from a humanities point of view.

The series published three volumes over the last 5 years.