Religion and Power

Meerten B. ter Borg

in The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588961
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Religion and Power

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This article examines the workings of religious power. It describes how people exert power over each other by means of ‘religion’, by reference to matters of which the existence cannot be proven or falsified by scientific means. The discussion first describes the terms ‘power’ and ‘religion’, and merges the two into ‘religious power’. It also introduces a hypothesis about the functioning of religious power, demonstrating this with a rather curious example of religious power known as pillarisation in the Netherlands in the first half of the twentieth century, and its relevance for the situation in the world today.

Keywords: religious power; pillarisation; Netherlands; religion; power

Article.  6764 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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