Dr. W. Hofstee – Anthropology of Religion

  • Senior lecturer Social & Cultural Anthropology of Religion
  • Anthropology of Religion, Religion and Politics, Witchcraft in early modern Europe, Modern Paganism, Saints & Pilgrimage, Theory of Religion, Cargo Cults

Willem Hofstee (1952) is a member of LUCSoR and teaches BA and MA courses in the programmes of Religiewetenschappen and Theology and Religious Studies. part of the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University. His research and publications concern the history of the academic study of religion in the 20th century, method and theory in the study of religion, and new religious movements. He is particularly interested in the work of Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu and Clifford Geertz, and in the relation between religious ideas and political action.

He studied Medieval and Modern History, Cultural Anthropology and Comparative Religion at the University of Groningen, and obtained his PhD from the same university in 1997 with a critical analysis of G. van der Leeuw's phenomenology of religion. He has conducted fieldwork in Italy, Japan, the U.S.A., and Brazil, and has been teaching in turn at the universities of Groningen, Tilburg, Amsterdam (UvA), Sao Paulo (USP) and Nijmegen. He has been a member of the teaching staff of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Groningen from 1999 till 2006, and was appointed in Leiden in 2004. He has been treasurer both of the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR) and the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG).

Selected publications

  • Geertz on Religion. Key Thinkers in the Study of Religion (Sheffield: Equinox, 2014) fc. 
  • “The Essence of Concrete Individuality: Gerardus van der Leeuw, Jan de Vries, and National Socialism”, in H. Jünginger (Hrsg.), The Study of Religion under the Impact of National Socialist and Fascist Ideologies in Europe (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 543-552.
  • “Cultuur, religie en de macht van mannen”, Theologisch Debat 2 (2005) 4-10.
  • “Jan van Baal”, in L. Jones (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Religion, second edition  (Detroit: MacMillan, 2005), 725-726.  
  • "New Religious Movements, Cults, and Alternative Communities. A case in Tuscany", in G. Gasparro (ed.), Themes and Problems in the History of Religions in Contemporary Europe (Cosenza: Ed. Lionello Giordano, 2003) 163-181. 
  • “Small facts and large issues. Thoughts on method in the study of religion” in Imaginario 8 (Sao Paulo, 2002) 141-156 (including a translation in Portuguese).
  • “Leeuw, Gerardus van der”, in Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart IV, Bd.5 (Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2002). 
  • "Social Reality and the Problem of Demarcation in Theo P. van Baaren's Science of Religion", in A. Michaels, D. Pezzoli-Olgiati & F. Stolz (Hrsg.), Noch eine Chance für die Religionsphänomenologie? Studia Religiosa Helvetica vol. 6/7 (Bern: Peter Lang, 2001) 381-390.
  • "Religion and Ideology. Dutch Science of Religion during the Cold War", in Iva Dolezalova, Luther Martin & Dalibor Papousek (eds.), The Academic Study of Religion During the Cold War: East and West (Toronto: Peter Lang, 2001) 239-252.
  • “Baaren, Theodorus Pieter van” in Biografisch Lexicon voor de Geschiedenis van het Nederlands Protestantisme, dl. 5 (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 2001). 
  • “Phenomenology of Religion versus Anthropology of Religion? The ‘Groningen School’ 1920-1990”, in S. Hjelde (ed), Man, Meaning and Mystery. 100 Years of History of Religion in Norway: the Heritage of W. Brede Kristensen  (Leiden: Brill, 2000) 173-190. 
  • Goden en Mensen. De godsdienstwetenschap van Gerardus van der Leeuw 1890-1950  (Kampen: Kok Agora, 1997), 271 pp. 
  • “The French Connection: Gerardus van der Leeuw and the Concept of Primitive Mentality” in H.G. Kippenberg & B. Luchesi (Hrsg.), Religionswissenschaft und Kulturkritik (Marburg: Diagonal Verlag, 1991) 127-137. 
  • “Gerardus van der Leeuw”, in: H. Achterhuis & J. Sperna Weiland (eds.), Kritisch Denkers Lexicon. Dl. 9 (Alphen a.d. Rhijn: Samsom, 1990) 1-15. 
  • “De Communiteit van de Apostel Petrus in Toscane. Ontstaan van een religieuze beweging en de botsing met het kerkelijk gezag”, Focaal 9 (1988) 11-27. 
  • “The Interpretation of Religion. Some remarks on the work of Clifford Geertz”,in H.G.Hubbeling & H.G. Kippenberg (eds.), On Symbolic Representation of Religion (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1986) 70-83. Also published in: Neue  Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie 27 (1985) 145-158.

Last Modified: 11-12-2015