Jan Bremmer

Religious Studies, Groningen
Fellowship: 01.10.2010–30.09.2011


Jan N. Bremmer studied Classics and Spanish at the Free University, Amsterdam (1962-1969), and, after he met his British wife Christine in Finland, at the University of Bristol (1969-1970). From 1970-1972 he did his military service in the Dutch Military Intelligence. In 1990 he was appointed to the Chair of Religious Studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen, where he was for nearly 10 years dean of the Faculty (1996-2005). During his deanship, international assessment committees rated his Faculty the best of all theological faculties in the Netherlands both in research and teaching. He has been a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton (2000), Inaugural Getty Villa Professor at the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles: 2006-2007), and Visiting Leventis Professor in Edinburgh (2007). In the spring of 2006 the Queen appointed him Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.


Fields of Research

  • Greek, Roman, early Christian and contemporary religion
  • The historiography of ancient religion


Publications (Selection)

  • Jan N. Bremmer and Andrew Erskine (eds): The Gods of Ancient Greece. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2010.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: The Rise of Christianity through the Eyes of Gibbon, Harnack and Rodney Stark. Groningen: Barkhuis 2010, second edition.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: From Holy Books to Holy Bible: an Itinerary from Ancient Greece to Modern Islam via Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity, in M. Popović (ed.), Authoritative Scriptures in Ancient Judaism. Leiden: Brill 2010, 327-60.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: Greek Religion & Culture, the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Leiden: Brill 2008.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: Iconoclast, Iconoclastic, and Iconoclasm: Notes Towards a Genealogy. Church History and Religious Culture 88 (2008), 1-17.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: Secularization: Notes Toward a Genealogy, in H. de Vries (ed.), Religion: Beyond a Concept. New York: Fordham University Press 2008, 432-37, 900-03.
  • Jan N. Bremmer (ed.): The Strange World of Human Sacrifice. Leuven: Peeters 2007.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: From Salvation to Empowerment. European Notes on Contemporary American Religion. First Draft 6 (2007), 10-15.
  • Jan N. Bremmer and Jan Veenstra (eds): The Metamorphosis of Magic from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Leuven: Peeters 2003.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: The Rise and Fall of the Afterlife. London and New York: Routledge 2002.
  • Jan N. Bremmer: ›Religion‹, ›Ritual‹ and the Opposition ›Sacred vs. Profane‹: Notes Towards a Terminological ›Genealogy‹, in F. Graf (ed.), Ansichten griechischer Rituale. Festschrift für Walter Burkert. Stuttgart and Leipzig: Teubner 1998, 9-32.
  • Jan N. Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg (eds): A Cultural History of Humour. Cambridge: Polity Press 1997 (translated into German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese).
  • Jan N. Bremmer: Greek Religion (Greece & Rome: New Surveys in the Classics 24). Oxford: Oxford: University Press 1994, second edition 1999, reprinted 2003 (translated into German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish).
  • Jan N. Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg (eds): A Cultural History of Gesture. Cambridge: Polity Press 1991.