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Frederique Demeijer MSc

PhD candidate


Six generations of members of the Apostolic Society in the changing social and religious context of the Netherlands in the twentieth century

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Faculty of Religion and Theology, Beliefs and Practices
Promotor/begeleider: Prof. dr. H.C. Stoffels & Prof. dr. H.F.J. Horstmanshoff (Emeritus)

This PhD research deals with religious experiences, the role of religion and belonging, and the implications of change processes within religious communities and the (possible) consequences for its members. The focus is on het Apostolisch Genootschap (the Apostolic Society) – a contemporary Dutch religious community consisting of approximately 15,000 members. Using generational theory of the Dutch sociologist Becker, six social generations of members of the Apostolic Society are interviewed to investigate to what extent the apostolic religion has been decisive for their identity and how they experience religion nowadays.The purpose of this qualitative study is firstly to acquire more knowledge on how members of the Apostolic Society experienced different historical developments within the Society, and secondly, to gain a better understanding of change processes within a religious community.