Normative Pictures: The History of Christianity from a Theological Perspective

Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context - Peter Berger

Henk van den Belt [+-]
VU University, Amsterdam
Henk van den Belt  (PhD 2006, Leiden University) is Professor of Systematic Theology at the VU University, Amsterdam and director of the Herman Bavinck Center for Reformed and Evangelical Theology. He is currently working on a Research project concerning the development of the doctrine of divine providence in Reformed theology. He is the author of The Authority of Scripture in Reformed Theology: Truth and Trust (Brill, 2008) and of several articles on Reformed Orthodoxy and on neocalvinism; he edited Restoration through Redemption: John Calvin Revisited (Brill, 2013) and the second volume of the Synopsis of Purer Theology (Brill, 2016).


The book is intended for undergraduate students in religious studies and anyone else interested in the study of religion. It differs from most other introductions and handbooks in that it draws on ongoing research to show ‘how’ researchers approach their topics, thus providing orientation in a multidisciplinary context without attempting to homogenize the field.  Religion is studied from a multitude of approaches and methodologies, also represented in this volume: history, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, psychology and the academic study of religion. The introduction therefore focuses on providing students with an overview of the issues that are at stake in choosing an approach to studying religion in a multidisciplinary context: how one can learn to recognize how scholars conceptualize and delineate the object of study, what theory is, to recognize on what level of analysis research may take place, and the ‘problem of belief’ in the study of religion. The author of each chapter discusses material from their own research to demonstrate the approach and methodology they apply to produce and analyse the material they work with. This allows students to orient themselves with regard to the various methodologies and perspectives that they can deploy to formulate and answer their own research questions. 

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van den Belt, Henk . Normative Pictures: The History of Christianity from a Theological Perspective. Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Nov 2021. ISBN 9781800500709. Date accessed: 24 Sep 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42553. Nov 2021

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