A Sun that Lost its Shine: The Reformation in Dutch Protestant Memory Culture, 1817-1917

in Church History and Religious Culture
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Abstract

This essay is a first exploration of nineteenth-century Dutch Protestant memory culture. Using Reformation commemorations as our case study, we show that the appropriation of Luther and Calvin for group identity purposes underwent a twofold transition in the century between 1817 and 1917. Whereas the unity of Dutch Protestantism was a dominant theme during the first decades of the nineteenth century, the Reformation became increasingly used as an instrument for justifying subgroup identities. Simultaneously, a past-oriented discourse (the Reformation as “origin”) was gradually abandoned in favour of a future-oriented discourse (Reformation “principles” that ought to be obeyed and applied). This, we argue, distinguished Dutch Protestant memory culture both from national commemorative discourse and from Protestant memory cultures abroad.

A Sun that Lost its Shine: The Reformation in Dutch Protestant Memory Culture, 1817-1917

in Church History and Religious Culture

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