Podcast: Religious Identity Development in Strictly Reformed Contexts

3 December 2021

How does religious identity development look like in strictly Reformed contexts in The Netherlands? How do young adults experience this religious identity development themselves? What is their voice?

Finding one's own way

In this episode our guest is Anne-Marije de Bruin-Wassinkmaat. She did a qualitative research on a group of eighteen young adults who were raised in strictly Reformed contexts in The Netherlands. In this podcast she will share insights, findings and outcomes of this study, which is called: 'Finding one's own way: Exploring the religious identity development of emerging adults raised in strictly Reformed contexts in the Netherlands.'

The voice of young adults raised in strictly Reformed contexts

There is a lot of public debate about strictly Reformed young people, especially in the light of education in strictly Reformed school settings. Many of these debates are based on images, stereotypes and biases, but there is hardly any evidence-based research on strictly Reformed young people. The lack of research on this group was one of the reasons for the research. Her research intended to listen to the voice of young people themselves.

In this podcast you will hear what makes strictly Reformed young people different from any other orthodox group. Also, you will hear why the identity theory of Erikson-Marcia is not working with this group, and how De Bruin came to the distinction of several religious identity commitments. She also shares some unexpected findings in this research: the fact that many emerging adults raised in strictly Reformed do not feel good about themselves in relation to God and others, and we talk about the implications for religious identity development.

Mentioned articles

In the podcast reference is made to the following articles:

  • Anne-Marije de Bruin-Wassinkmaat, Jos de Kock, Elsbeth Visser-Vogel, Cok Bakker & Marcel Barnard (2021), ’It is never good. Really, it’s just never good’: a dominant theme in the life story accounts of strictly Reformed-raised emerging adults about their religious identity development. In: Journal of Beliefs & Values 42;
  • Anne-Marije de Bruin-Wassinkmaat, Jos de Kock, Elsbeth Visser-Vogel, Cok Bakker & Marcel Barnard (2021), ‘Influencing Contextual Factors in the Religious Identity Development of Strict-Reformed-Raised Emerging Adults in The Netherlands.’ In: Religious Education, 116 (4), 383-398;
  • Anne-Marije de Bruin-Wassinkmaat, Jos de Kock, Elsbeth Visser-Vogel, Cok Bakker & Marcel Barnard (2021), ‘Religious identity commitments of emerging adults raised in strictly Reformed contexts in the Netherlands.’ In: Journal of Beliefs & Values 42 (2), 149-162:
  • Anne-Marije de Bruin-Wassinkmaat, Jos de Kock, Elsbeth Visser-Vogel, Cok Bakker & Marcel Barnard (2021), ‘Religious Identity Exploration in the Life Stories of Strictly Reformed-Raised Emerging Adults in the Netherlands’. In: Journal of Youth and Theology 20, 1-23;
  • De Bruin-Wassinkmaat, Anne-Marije, Jos de Kock, Elsbeth Visser-Vogel, Cok Bakker, & Marcel Barnard (2019), 'Being Young and Strictly Religious: A Review of the Literature on the Religious Identity Development of Strictly Religious Adolescents', in: An International Journal of Theory and Research 19(1), 62-79.

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