Society of African Journal Editors

South African Journal of Sociology

Religiosociologie — opvolger van Godsdienstsociologie?

Authors: J.E. Reinders

Journal: South African Journal of Sociology

“RELIGIOSOCIOGIE” SUCCESSOR TO “GODSDIENSTSOCIOLOGIE”? In Afrikaans-Dutch several scientific concepts are expressed by means of the original Netherlands language, and are used parallely with the concepts taken from the “classical languages” (Greek and Latin). The conceptual content, covered by the terms from both languages is often mainly the same as, e.g. the case of “Philosophy” (Wijsbegeerte), “Chemistry” (Scheikunde) etc. Until recently the same was true, as far as the term “religiegodsdienst” is concerned. However, more and more these two terms have come to denote different concepts. The Dutch term ‘godsdienst’ is more reserved for institutionalised and organized religion, while the term “religie” includes also the more “vague” and “spiritual” aspects of religion and is therefore of a wider scope. By the same token a similar difference exists between “religious” and “godsdienstig”. In view of this it is suggested that the name of that part of sociology dealing with religion be changed into “religiosociologie”, instead of “godsdienstsociologie” or “sociologie van de religie”. To this effect some generally used definitions of religion are given as well as a definition based on the biblical point of view. Attention is also given to the impact of religion on culture and the fact that religion, as an integrative part of culture, is transferred to the younger generation in the same way as the other norms, values and symbols making up a culture, which, especially in developed societies, requires religion to present itself in an organized way. The problem of nomenclature as shown here, does not crop up in languages where only the term “religion”, covering all aspects of religion and its adjective “religious”, is used.