© 2015

Religion and Volunteering

Complex, contested and ambiguous relationships

  • Lesley Hustinx
  • Johan von Essen
  • Jacques Haers
  • Sara Mels

Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Johan von Essen, Lesley Hustinx, Jacques Haers, Sara Mels
    Pages 1-20
  3. Theologies of Religion and Volunteering

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Jacques Haers, Johan von Essen
      Pages 23-40
    3. Lena Roos
      Pages 41-57
    4. Mohammad Fazlhashemi
      Pages 59-74
  4. Religion as a Determinant of Volunteering

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Lesley Hustinx, Ronan Van Rossem, Femida Handy, Ram A. Cnaan
      Pages 97-120
    3. John Bellamy, Rosemary Leonard
      Pages 121-143
  5. Religion and Volunteering in a (Post-)Secular Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 145-145
    2. Johan von Essen
      Pages 147-167
    3. Roel De Ridder, Sylvain De Bleeckere
      Pages 169-190
    4. Erik Claes, Emilie Van Daele
      Pages 191-215
  6. Politics of Religion and Volunteering

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 239-239
    2. Paul Lichterman
      Pages 241-261
    3. Oleg Dik
      Pages 263-282
    4. Itamar Y. Shachar
      Pages 305-327

About this book


Religion is considered a key predictor of volunteering: the more religious people are, the more likely they are to volunteer. This positive association enjoys significant support in current research; in fact, it could be considered the ‘default perspective’ on the relationship between both phenomena. In this book, the authors claim that, although the dominant approach is legitimate and essential, it nonetheless falls short in grasping the full complexity of the interaction between religion and volunteering. It needs to be recognized that there are tensions between religion and volunteering, and that these tensions are intensifying as a result of the changing meaning and role of religion in society. Therefore, the central aim and contribution of this book is to demonstrate that the relationship between religion and volunteering is not univocal but differentiated, ambiguous and sometimes provocative. By introducing the reader to a much wider landscape of perspectives, this volume offers a richer, more complex and variable understanding. Apart from the established positive causality, the authors examine tensions between religion and volunteering from the perspective of religious obligation, religious change, processes of secularization and notions of post-secularity. They further explore how actions that are considered altruistic, politically neutral and motivated by religious beliefs can be used for political reasons. This volume opens up the field to new perspectives on religious actors and on how religion and volunteering are enacted outside Western liberal and Christian societies. It emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives, including theology, philosophy, sociology, political science, anthropology and architecture.


Muslims and volunteering motivations of volunteering non-Western religions and volunteering religion and civil society restorative justice secular societies and volunteering

Editors and affiliations

  • Lesley Hustinx
    • 1
  • Johan von Essen
    • 2
  • Jacques Haers
    • 3
  • Sara Mels
    • 4
  1. 1.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Institute for Civil Society StudiesErsta Sköndal University CollegeStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Universitair Centrum Sint-Ignatius AntwerpenAntwerpBelgium
  4. 4.Universitair Centrum Sint-Ignatius AntwerpenAntwerpBelgium

About the editors

Lesley Hustinx is assistant professor at the Department of Sociology of Ghent University

Johan Von Essen is Doctor of Divinity and Researcher at the Institute for Civil Society Studies, Ersta Sköndal University College

Jacques Haers is director of academic affairs at the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp

Sara Mels is project-coordinator at the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Religion and Volunteering
  • Book Subtitle Complex, contested and ambiguous relationships
  • Editors Lesley Hustinx
    Johan von Essen
    Jacques Haers
    Sara Mels
  • Series Title Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Nonprofit,Civil Society Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-04584-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-34669-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-04585-6
  • Series ISSN 1568-2579
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 352
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 9 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Sociology, general
    Sociology of Culture
    Religious Studies, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site