dr. Mariecke van den Berg
Gegenereerd op 2018-09-24 18:03:38


Mariecke van den Berg is a postdoctoral researcher in the NWO-programme Beyond 'Religion versus Emancipation'. Gender and Sexuality in Women's Conversion to Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Contemporary Western Europe. She obtained a BA in Theology and an RMA in Gender Studies from Utrecht University. In 2014 she finished her PhD research on ethnicity and informal care at Twente University. From 2014-2016 she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Theology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the NWO-project Contested Privates. The Oppositional Pairing of Religion and Homosexuality in Contemporary Public Discourse.

Her current research is focused on religious and gender 'scripts' that underlie conceptions of conversion. Conversions often follow certain expectations about the appropriate way to dress and behave, about rituals that need to be performed and, importantly, about the way in which converts shouls narrate their own conversions. These expectations are often strongly related to gender: female converts are expected to behave, dress and narrate differently from male converts.

Mariecke uses various case studies to uncover the entanglements of religion and gender in the ways in which conversion is perceived. For instance: why are there so many similarities in the narratives of converts and those of transgender persons who undergo a gender transformation? But also: why is the conversion of women (especially to Islam) so often understood as a form of forsaking autonomy while the conversion of famous soccer players such as Wesley Sneijder and Franck Ribéry is seen as an idiosyncrasy that accentuates their uniqueness?

Gegenereerd op 2018-09-24 18:03:38
All publications
  Book parts / chapters
van den Berg, C.A.M. (2018). Setting the Table Anew: Queering the Lord's Supper in Contemporary Art. In Mark D. Chapman & Dominic Janes (Eds.), New Approaches in History and Theology to Same-Sex Love and Desire (pp. 227-248). Palgrave Macmillan.
Dolinska-Rydzek, M. & van den Berg, C.A.M. (2015). ’Gays as a weapon of the Antichrist’. Religious nationalism, homosexuality and the Antichrist on the Russian internet. In Srdjan Sremac & Ruard R. Ganzevoort (Eds.), Religious and Sexual Nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe - Gods, Gays and Governments (pp. 134-153) (19 p.). Brill.
van den Berg, C.A.M. & Popov Momčinović, Z. (2015). Echoes from the Margin: Responses to the Pope’s Statements on Homosexuality in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Sweden. In Srdjan Sremac & Ruard R. Ganzevoort (Eds.), Religious and Sexual Nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe - Gods, Gays and Governments (pp. 93-112) (19 p.). Brill.
van den Berg, C.A.M., Bos, David, Ganzevoort, Ruard R., Derks, Marco, Jovanović, Milos, Korte, A.J.A.C.M. & Sremac, S. (2014). Religion, Homosexuality, and Contested Social Orders in the Netherlands, the Western Balkans and Sweden. In G. Ganiel, H. Winkel & C. Monnot (Eds.), Religion in Times of Crises (pp. 116-134). Brill.
van den Berg, C.A.M. (2010). Handleiding voor paradijssceptici: de zin van een queer zondeval. In Adriaan van Klinken & Nienke Pruiksma (Eds.), Onder de regenboog: de bijbel queer gelezen (pp. 17-28). Skandalon.
Geerts, Evelien, Van Raemdonck, An, van den Brandt, H.P., Schrijvers, L.L. & van den Berg, C.A.M. (2018). De Oudejaarsconference van Claudia de Breij - Een Diffractieve, Interdisciplinaire Discussie over (Super)Diversiteit, Gender, Seksualiteit en Religie in de Lage Landen. Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies, 21 (1), (pp. 81-104).
Stegeman, J., van den Berg, C.A.M. & Westerduin, M.A. (20.04.2018). Indecent Calvinists and Vanilla Secularism: Redefining Decency in The Netherlands. Feminist Theology, 26 (3), (pp. 308-320) (13 p.).
van den Berg, C.A.M. (28.04.2017). Queer Studies, Queer Faith, and the Construction of Religion in the Public Sphere in the Netherlands. Scholar and Feminist Online, 14 (2).
van den Berg, C.A.M. (2017). Rings for the Rainbow Family - Religious Opposition to the Introduction of Same-Sex Marriage in Sweden. Theology & Sexuality, 23 (3), (pp. 229-244).
van den Berg, C.A.M. & Marinus, Mir (2017). Trans scripts. The representation of transgender people in the media in the Netherlands (1991-2016). Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies, 20 (4), (pp. 379-397).
van den Berg, C.A.M. (2016). Gender, missie en het jeugdboek. De moeizame mannelijkheid bij Piet Prins. TussenRuimte : Tijdschrift voor Interculturele Theologie, 2016 (3), (pp. 30-34).
van den Berg, C.A.M. (2016). Mantelzorg: de dwang van de vanzelfsprekendheid. Waardenwerk, 64 (1).
van den Berg, C.A.M. (2016). Zie de Mens: het queer potentieel van homo-Jezus in Elisabeth Ohlson Wallins Ecce Homo. Religie en Samenleving, (pp. 249-270).
Igrutinovic, D., Sremac, S. & van den Berg, C.A.M. (2015). Pride parades and/or prayer processions: contested public space in Serbia #Belgrade Pride 2014. Journal of Empirical Theology, 28 (2), (pp. 204-255) (21 p.).
  Special issue
Korte, A.J.A.C.M., van den Berg, C.A.M. & van den Bogert, C.E. (2017). Religion, Gender and Body Politics. Religion and Gender, 6 (2).
van den Berg, C.A.M., van den Bogert, C.E. & Korte, A.J.A.C.M. (2017). Religion, Gender and Body Politics: Introduction. (4 p.).
  Workshop, seminar, course
van den Berg, C.A.M. (25.05.2018) Participant Marriage and the margins: Religious and secular belonging in debates on the introduction of same-sex marriage in Sweden Utrecht (25.05.2018)
van den Berg, C.A.M. (29.05.2018) Organiser Running an Academic Journal: R&G workshop Utrecht (29.05.2018) Workshop for the editorial team of the UU online journal Junctions.
van den Berg, C.A.M. (17.04.2018) Organiser Tips voor een geslaagde promotie. Driebergen-Rijsenburg (17.04.2018)
  Invited talk
van den Berg, C.A.M. (01.05.2018) Invited speaker Utrecht Religie Forum Utrecht (27.06.2017) (Populaire) kunst in politiek-religieuze conflicten in Europa: Ecce Homo
van den Berg, C.A.M. (25.05.2018) Invited speaker AEGEE (Association des États Généraux des Étudiants de l'Europe of European Students' Forum) Utrecht The cultural meaning of homosexuality and religion
van den Berg, C.A.M. (05.06.2018) Invited speaker Network Transcender Trans ScriptsThe Representation of Transgender Persons in the Media
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Gegenereerd op 2018-09-24 18:03:38
Beyond ‘Religion versus Emancipation’. Gender and Sexuality in Women’s Conversions to Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Contemporary Western Europe.
01.06.2016 to 01.06.2021
General project description 


In post-9/11 Western societies and academic debates, the notion that religion and women’s emancipation are fundamentally conflicting has regained plausibility. Consequently, women’s deliberate religious conversions are a pertinent academic, religious and socio-political issue. In face of this religion/emancipation paradox, this research project will apply interdisciplinary methods to study women’s processes of conversion as the acquisition of new religious subjectivities in which gender and sexuality play a formative role. The project hypothesises that gender equality and women’s sexuality are ‘battlefields’ on which converting women negotiate their position and subjectivity. It assumes that the conversion process is notably acted out in the context of public debates and religious prescriptions that highlight women’s positions and sexualities in adversative directions. By studying female conversion as an ongoing and multi-layered negotiation between secular and religious gender discourses, the project develops an innovative model of interpretation, based on a diversification of notions of choice, embodiment and religion. Its operationalisation takes place through three subprojects: a qualitative empirical PhD research on women’s embodied conversion processes in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; a postdoctoral cultural analysis of British, Dutch and Flemish public debates on controversies about traditional religious groups, gender and sexuality; and a postdoctoral religious studies approach investigating women’s positions and practices as narrated and regulated within Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. This comparative interdisciplinary project will contribute substantially to the public and academic understandings of tensions between religious and secular gender discourses through in-depth analysis of the experiences of women positioned at the intersection of both.

Role Researcher Funding
NWO grant
Project members UU

Gegenereerd op 2018-09-24 18:03:38
Full name
dr. C.A.M. van den Berg Contact details
Janskerkhof 13

Janskerkhof 13a
Room 0
The Netherlands

Postal address
Janskerkhof 13-13a
3512 BL    UTRECHT
The Netherlands
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Gegenereerd op 2018-09-24 18:03:38
Last updated 09.06.2018