Theology and Religious Studies research culture


Theology and Religious Studies is an interdisciplinary domain that encompasses a large number of academic subdisciplines, including philosophy, religious philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, psychology and some areas of literary theory. Scholars in this domain study different religious and philosophical traditions based on historical, literary, systematic and empirical methods, both from an ‘insider’s perspective’ and by examining religion and ideology as a social, historical and cultural phenomenon. In the Netherlands, the domain is organised by the NOSTER research school.


Target groups

In the Netherlands, the domain of Theology and Religious Studies is international in orientation. In addition, scholars maintain close ties with professionals whose work involves practical theology, ethics and public theology. Researchers communicate with professional communities and interested members of the general public through individual specialist and popular journals and through books covering developments in religion, theological issues and normative and ethical questions.


Products and communication

  • Academic publications often take the form of books and (essays in) edited volumes, in both Dutch and international journals. As is customary in the social sciences, there are co-publications covering empirical research.
  • International publications tend to be in English. Many publications also appear in Dutch, however. These include hybrid publications intended for professional/academic and general readers. Other relevant publication languages are German, French and Italian.
  • Review processes are highly important in the context of international publications, often in the form of editorial reviews.


Processes and strategies

  • Cooperation and communication with professionals.
  • The most common type of publication is the ‘single-authored publication’.


Domain-specific aspects of quality and relevance

Contributions to theological, ideological and ethical practice (by professionals).


Relevance of indicators for products

The NOSTER panel has authorised various publication channels for journals and books by target group. The multidisciplinary nature of this domain means that indicators authorised by other panels are also relevant. Link to lists


Relevance of quantitative indicators for use and marks of recognition

Bibliometric indicators such as citation analyses are not useful, even if based on Google Scholar. That is because many of the publication channels are not indexed and because reference practices are too diverse.