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Thema

Gemeenten en religieus erfgoed

Inleiding bij het themanummer ‘Religieus erfgoed’

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2020
Auteurs Dr. Marlies Honingh en Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This issue of Bestuurswetenschappen is devoted to the theme of ‘religious heritage’, more specifically to what is called the ‘church problem’. Nobody will have missed the fact that quite a few churches have been withdrawn as places of worship in recent years. While there was still a shortage of churches a generation ago, today the problem is the other way around: there is a surplus. There is great agreement about the causes of this: secularization and church leaving have left deep marks. Churches have been demolished, used for multiple purposes and churches have become vacant. However, the majority of the empty churches have been given a new destination. Those who think that this solves the problem are mistaken. As a result, a new problem has arisen that raises the following questions: which designated purposes are ‘appropriate’, what is absolutely not possible and how does it work in practice if the religious function is combined with a cultural and/or commercial function? The versatility of the ‘church problem’ is evident from the contributions in this special issue. It opens with a column written by the King’s Commissioner in the province of North-Brabant, Wim van de Donk. In his column he emphasizes the value of religious heritage and the commitment of local communities to finding creative solutions.


Dr. Marlies Honingh
Dr. M.E. Honingh is universitair hoofddocent bestuurskunde aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en redactielid van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Thema

‘Waarom mag het niet wat meer onze kerk zijn?’

Spanningen bij meervoudig gebruik van monumentale stadskerken

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2020
Auteurs Matthias Kaljouw MA
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article provides insight into the way in which various city churches that are national monuments fulfill their various, sometimes contradictory, functions. All of these are church buildings that determine the city view. These five church buildings are dependent on commercial rental by a foundation or manager for their maintenance, but they also explicitly fulfill a religious and cultural-historical function. How do ecclesiastical and management organizations deal with this area of tension, what administrative forms do we find and where and why do tensions arise? The author sketches the results of a comparative case study of five churches, supplemented with data collected through focus groups with administrators of 20 church communities associated with city churches that are national monuments. It appears that tensions between the various functions of the church building occur in all these churches, regardless of the chosen administrative model. These tensions seem to be concentrated mainly around the ‘iconic’ meaning of the church building. For the church community, the church building not only fulfills the function of ‘meeting place’; it is also the building through which the church community is visible and recognizable in the city. In addition, the church building also appears to represent certain values with which church communities identify themselves. It is therefore important for administrators and foundations to answer a ‘cardinal’ question: can the current ecclesiastical function of the building be part of the commercial and cultural-historical function of the building, or should it remain strictly separate from it?


Matthias Kaljouw MA
M.J. Kaljouw MA is promovendus praktische theologie aan de Protestantse Theologische Universiteit (Groningen). Zijn onderzoek richt zich op het gebruik van en de betekenisgeving aan achttien iconische stadskerken in Nederland.
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