Religion, Gender and Citizenship

Nella van den Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this review essay, I discuss interdisciplinary and comparative research that is taking place in the fields of religious, gender, and sexuality studies. I make a case for the academic and political relevance of research projects that are interdisciplinary – and that, therefore, generate multi-layered knowledge by starting from various points of view – as well as projects that are comparative in nature in the sense that they do not isolate a specific social group or trend but reveal certain specificities through comparison. As a religious studies scholar interested in the construction of differences (religious, ethnic, gender, sexuality), I believe it is increasingly important to study and compare different identities and communities in contemporary diverse West-European contexts. Such comparative research provides insights in the many commonalities, but also variances, between various groups of people, not as essential differences, but as differences-being-made-and-in-the-making. To give an example: How and why are the identities and experiences of Christian, Muslim, and secular women (or youth, men, or LGBTQ’s) similar or divergent? Interdisciplinary comparative research may yield insights into unexpected complexities but also possibilities for political solidarity. Thinking through the above questions, I will start this essay with a review of the 2016 book by Line Nyhagen and Beatrice Halsaa, Religion, Gender and Citizenship: Women of Faith, Gender Equality and Feminism. I then point at some other research examples on religion, gender, and sexuality across different European contexts that are exemplifying the type of interdisciplinary and comparative research that I find to be so crucial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalTijdschrift voor Genderstudies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

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