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About usFaculty of Theology and Religious StudiesOrganizationStaffPhD ResearchComparative Study of Religion

Jelle Wiering

Sexuality, religion, and secularism

For many African migrants in Europe, religion plays an important role in the process of conceptualizing and developing notions of sexual-wellbeing. Having arrived in the Netherlands however, these migrants experience this role of religion to be problematized, as it is often subject to Dutch scepticism and marginalization. Moreover: it appears that the allegedly 'neutral' Dutch secular environment in fact breathss other specific notions of sexuality, held to be liberal, free, and above all: 'typically Dutch'.

The encounter between the Dutch organizations focusing on sexual education and the migrants can be considered a prism for investigating the interaction of the religious and the secular in our current secular age. The encounter is an illustration of the fact that such societies are facing the difficult task of coming to terms with the continued existence of religion in an increasingly secularized environment.

This project looks through the eyes of the organizations, and explores how Dutch NGOs, FBOs and semi-government organizations negotiate within this encounter of secularity, secularism, religion, and sexuality. Moving beyond the understanding of religion as waning in the face of modernity, this project will help us to develop adequate frameworks that can help us to understand how sexuality is part of the post-colonial (re)shaping of the relations between religion, secularity, and modernity.

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Last modified:20 November 2019 7.28 p.m.