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Molendijk, Arie

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Arie L. Molendijk, born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1957. Ph.D. from Leiden University. Professor of History of Christianity, and Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the University of Groningen.

Fellow (1 September 2012 – 30 June 2013)

The Sacred Books of the East. Max Müller's Concepts, Management and Hidden Assumptions

The importance of Max Müller's fifty-volume edition of The Sacred Books of the East (1879-1910: SBE) can hardly be exaggerated. It is a key example of large-scale, entrepreneurial scholarship, which articulated and established a particular combination of both historical and comparative approaches. Next to this, the edition reflects formative and influential ideas of what religion, civilisation (literacy and 'canonical' books) and 'the East' were really about. The SBE are part of a complex cultural heritage, which was formed in the interrelationship between Western scholarship and Eastern religions. To a certain extent scholars such as Müller gave colonial peoples their basic religious texts. During my stay at NIAS I plan to write a comprehensive monograph on this subject, which will be based on prior research in the rich archives of the Oxford University Press and the Bodleian Library (in which the Müller Papers are kept).

Selected Publications

Zwischen Theologie und Soziologie. Ernst Troeltschs Typen der christlichen Gemeinschaftsbildung: Kirche, Sekte, Mystik (Troeltsch-Studien, 9), Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus Gerd Mohn, 1996.

The Emergence of the Science of Religion in the Netherlands, Leiden: Brill, 2005.

(ed. with Paul Post & Justin Kroesen), Sacred Places in Modern Western Culture, Leuven: Peeters, 2011

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