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Christian Politics in the Netherlands



Parties of Christian background received only 28 out of 150 seats in the 2010 parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, while SGP, ChristenUnie, and particularly CDA and its predecessors used to dominate Dutch politics for a large part of the 20th century. In contrast to this apparent marginalisation of Christianity in Dutch politics, references to the Christian roots of the Dutch nation have been increasing in recent years, not the least by the secular free-market liberals (VVD) and the anti-Islam party PVV. Moreover, the approximately 800,000 Christian migrants may strengthen the role of Christianity in Dutch politics in the near future. The main question of the MA seminar Christian Politics in the Netherlands is therefore whether Christianity has lost its influence in Dutch politics or re-emerges in different forms. It focuses on three issues: the Christian origins of the Dutch national state, the rise and fall of Christian parties, and the present position of Christian political actors in Dutch politics (such as churches, parties, voters, schools, and politicians).

NB: Passive knowledge of Dutch is required to take part in this seminar.

Obligatory readings

  • M. ter Borg et al. (2008), Handboek Religie in Nederland: Perspectief – Overzicht – Debat. Zoetermeer: Meinema. ISBN: 9789021141886.

  • J. van Eijnatten & F. van Lieburg (2006), Nederlandse Religiegeschiedenis. Hilversum: Verloren. ISBN: 9065509283.

  • A list of other obligatory readings will be made available on blackboard in late August 2010.


To be announced.


Thursday 9 September till 28 October, 11.00-13.00 hrs. in SA05 (except 9 September SA21) and
Monday 13 September till 25 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs. in 5B02 (except 13 and 20 September SA31, 27 September 1A47 and 4 October no meeting).