Jacques Waardenburg

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jacob Diederik Jan (Jacques) Waardenburg (born March 15, 1930 in Haarlem , Netherlands ; † April 8, 2015 in Utrecht ) was a Dutch scholar of religion and Islam .


Waardenburg studied theology , phenomenology and history of religion at the University of Amsterdam from 1949 to 1954 , then Arabic and the history of Islam in Amsterdam, Leiden and Paris. In 1961 he did his doctorate in Amsterdam on a group of Western Islamic scholars. Then he went to the Middle East . 1962–1963 he worked at the Institute for Islamic Studies at McGill University in Montreal. From 1964 to 1968 he taught Arabic and the history of Islam at the University of California in Los Angeles, from 1968 to 1987 Islamic studies and religious phenomenology at the University of Utrecht and from 1987 to 1995 religious studies in Lausanne. There he settled after his retirement. Jacques Waardenburg received honorary doctorates from the University of Helsinki (1991), the University of Montreal (2006) and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (2009).

His main scientific interests were, on the one hand, the relationship between Christians and Muslims in the past and present, and, on the other hand, methodological and theoretical issues in Islamic and religious studies.


For Islamic studies, Waardenburg's works Islam et sciences des religions (1998) and Muslim-Christian Perceptions of Dialogue Today: Experiences and Expectations (2002) are of particular importance; for religious studies, the two-volume Classical Approaches to the study of Religion (1973/74 ) and Religion and Religions (1986). Waardenburg was a sharp critic of the "classical phenomenology of religion". The task of the study of religion extends beyond the mere description and listing of facts. He developed the concept of "New Style Phenomenology".

New style phenomenology

In contrast to older religious phenomenological approaches, Waardenburg's new conception of the phenomenology of religion , the so-called "new style phenomenology", does not start from a general, objectively valid meaning of religious phenomena, but tries to analyze the subjective interests and intentions associated with the phenomenon .

Concentrating on the subjective meaning of religious and cultural phenomena allows Waardenburg to examine the boundaries between “religious” and “non-religious” on a case-by-case basis. An offense can be interpreted differently in different contexts. The criterion is the individual assessment. A phenomenology of religion understood in this way no longer searches for the essence of religion or religious phenomena beyond time and space, but asks for subjective meanings within a given temporal and spatial context.


Methodology of Religious Studies & Islamic Studies

  • Reflections on the Study of Religion (1978)
  • Religions and religion. Systematic introduction to religious studies . In: Göschen Collection . tape 2228 . de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 1986, ISBN 3-11-010324-9 .
  • Perspectives in religious studies . Echter-Verlag, Würzburg 1993, ISBN 3-429-01513-8 (Religious Studies; 25).
  • Scholarly approaches to religion, interreligious perceptions and Islam . In: Jean Jacques Waardenburg (ed.): Studia religiosa Helvetica . tape 1 . Lang, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Paris, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-906752-93-3 .
  • Classical approaches to the study of religion. Aims, methods and theories of research. Introduction and anthology . de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 1999, ISBN 3-11-016328-4 .


  • Official and popular religion in Iran. Workshop. History and Politics of Religious Movements in Iran . Berlin Institute for Comparative Social Research, Berlin 1980.
  • Islamic-Christian Relations. Historical forays . In: Religious Studies . tape 23 . Echter, Würzburg 1993, ISBN 3-429-01485-9 .
  • Islam and Christianity. Mutual perceptions since the mid-20th century . Peeters, Leuven 1998, ISBN 90-429-0004-0 .
  • Muslim perceptions of other religions. A historical survey . Oxford University Press, New York 1999, ISBN 0-19-510472-2 .
  • Muslim-Christian perceptions of dialogue today. Experiences and expectations . Peeters, Leuven, Sterling (Virginia) 2000, ISBN 90-429-0874-2 .
  • Islam. Historical, social, and political perspectives . In: Religion and reason . tape 40 . de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2002, ISBN 3-11-017178-3 .
  • Muslims and others. Relations in context . In: Religion and reason . tape 41 . de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-017627-0 .
  • Muslims as actors. Islamic meanings and Muslim interpretations in the perspective of the study of religions . In: Religion and reason . tape 46 . de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-019142-4 .


  • L'Islam dans le miroir de l'Occident (The Hague and Paris, 1961, 3rd ed. 1970)
  • Les uniersités dans le monde arabe actuel (2 vols., 1966)
  • Islam et Occident face à face. Regards de l'histoire des religions (1998)
  • Islam et sciences des religion (1998)
  • Islam: Norm, ideal and reality (5 editions, 1984-2000)


  • Klaus Hock: Introduction to Religious Studies . 3rd edition. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 978-3-534-20048-1 .
  • Fritz Stolz : Fundamentals of Religious Studies . 3rd edition Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-8252-1980-1 ( UTB for science; 1980).
  • Jacques Waardenburg: A Flying Dutchman . In: Jürgen Court, Michael Klöcker (Hrsg.): Ways and Worlds of Religions. Research and mediation; Festschrift for Udo Tworuschka . Lembeck Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 2009, ISBN 978-3-87476-591-6 , pp. 655-662.
  • Jiri Gebelt: About the intentions of intention research. On the neophenomenology of religions by Jacques Waardenburg . In: Jürgen Court, Michael Klöcker (Hrsg.): Ways and Worlds of Religions. Research and mediation; Festschrift for Udo Tworuschka . Lembeck Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 2009, ISBN 978-3-87476-591-6 , pp. 157-163.

Web links