Interpreting Religion: The Phenomenological Approaches of Pierre Daniel Chantepie De LA Saussaye, W. Brede Kristensen, and Gerardus Van Der Leeuw
by George Alfred James
Divine presence in ordinary life: Gerardus van der Leeuw's twofold method in his thinking on art and religion
by Hubertus Gezinus Hubbeling
From Book News, Inc. , September 1, 1996
Follows the development of the term phenomenology of religion from its first occurrence in the history of ideas, looking at the work of three early exponents of the phenomenology of religion, and at some of the ways in which the concept has been understood in recent literature within the field of religion. The author demonstrates that phenomenological approaches to religion are a-historical, a- theological, and anti-reductive studies of religion. Of interest to scholars of religion and philosophy. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
An exploration of the insights of three of the most significant figures on the phenomenology of religion. The text provides an understanding of the religious dimension of human nature and culture, and offers an assessment of the study of religion today.
Leeuw, Gerardus van der. The Holy in Art. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963.
Gerardus van der Leeuw, de eerste minister van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap na de Tweede Wereldoorlog
Author Leeuw, G. van der (Gerardus), 1890-1950
Unif title Phänomemologie der Religion. English
Title Religion in essence and manifestation / G. van der Leeuw ; translated by J.E. Turner with appendices incorporation the additions of the second German edition by Hans H. Penner ; with a new foreword by Ninian Smart
Imprint Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1986
Phänomenologie der Religion / von G. van der Leeuw. - 3. Aufl.,
unveränd. Nachdr. d. 2., durchges. u. erw. Aufl.. - Tübingen
: Mohr, 1970. - XII, 808 S.; (dt.)
(Neue theologische Grundrisse)
Author Leeuw, G. van der (Gerardus), 1890-1950
Unif title Vom Heiligen in der Kunst. English
Title Sacred and profane beauty; the holy in art. Pref. by Mircea Eliade. Translated by David E. Green
Imprint London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson 
Religionswissenschaft und Kulturkritik : Beitrèage zur Konferenz The History of Religions and Critique of Culture in the Days of Gerardus Van der Leeuw (1890-1950)
ABSTRACT ART AND THE SPIRITUAL
Abstract art, that is, art which
is simplified, reduced, pared down often to the point of having
no subject drawn from nature at all, has been a strong force in
the twentieth century. It continues to be, although it has shared
the stage in recent years with representational art. That abstract
art from this century has had religious or spiritual goals may
be suggested by the German Expressionist, August Macke, who said,
"Only through...form... do we sense the secret powers, the
'invisible God.'" The influential 1987 Chicago exhibition
The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985 has more recently
made such goals apparent.
Nevertheless, the question "Can abstract art be religious?" is asked by many still imbued with a sense of a Western, Renaissance style. Some have answered "Yes," forswearing "mere depiction." The Dutch theologian Gerardus van der Leeuw seems to put it more forcefully: without any glimpse of the invisible, he states, "the art of representation carried through to its conclusion is a valley without a view, a house without a window. It is a failure as a holy act, unfruitful as art." It should be noted, abstraction has hardly been in conflict with the Christian Church or with other religions.
Van der Leeuw's "glimpse of the invisible" might be gained by a number of ways which we can consider briefly: pure abstraction or non-representational art and the absolute; ambiguous or transformative abstraction - wherein words and images shift their meanings - and the spiritual; pure mathematics and geometric art as means for searching the spiritual; access to the spiritual via emblems, signs, symbols.
Integral atheism is so sure of itself that assent to a belief system which is open to the divine is always by its nature, to use Sartre's phrase, "bad faith." Integral atheism, it must be noted, is difficult to see incarnate and institutionalized. Some would go so far as to suggest that this form of atheism is impossible to sustain. Paul Tillich would see the reflective and impassioned atheist gripped by an attachment to "ultimate concern" and thus--by Tillich's definition--religious. The student of religions, Gerardus van der Leeuw, doubts its historic reference: "It has never, in any conditions whatever, acquired historical form." Individuals may run away but they end up in the jaws of the next power. "There is no religion of atheism: there is only the individual fleeing from God. ..."
Insofar as every religion experiences a flight from God, it has an atheistic dimension, but that is different from persistent atheism. 121
- Gerardus van der Leeuw, Religion in essence and manifestation, trans. J.E. Turner
(Harper & Row: NY 1963) II
Reflections on the Study of Religion
Including an Essay on the Work of Gerardus van der Leeuw
23 x 15,5cm. XII, 284 p. Mouton de Gruyter. 1978. Cloth. DM 97,- / öS 708,- / sFr 88,- / approx. US$ 61.00.
Both Gerardus van der Leeuw and H. Hasper have shown that the way the psalms were sung in the synagogue was taken over in the ancient church. While it can be said in general that the melodies in the synagogue were subject to change, they nevertheless remained the same in the most far-flung outposts. And there are some very striking similarities to be found between the songs sung in the synagogue and the Gregorian melodies. The melodies which had a passionate character were often interrupted by a Hallelujah song, and sometimes ended with one.
Hans G. Kippenberg; Brigitte Luchesi [Hrsg.], Religionswissenschaft und Kulturkritik. Beiträge zur Konferenz 'The History of Religions and Critique of Culture' in the Days of Gerardus van der Leeuw (1890-1950), Marburg: Diagonal 1991.
De godsdienstwetenschap van Gerardus van der Leeuw 1890-1950
Auteur: Hofstee, W.