NEW: Special Issue of CHRC

We (my co-editors and I) are pleased to announce the publication of a Special Issue of Church History and Religious Culture (101: 2-3) that was released in late July 2021. The theme is “Spiritualism in Early Modern Europe.”

The collection features essays by Theo Brok, Michael Driedger, William Cook Miller, Francesco Quatrini, Nina Schroeder, Anselm Schubert, Christine Schulte am Hülse, Nigel Smith, James Stayer, Stefano Villani, Hans de Waardt, and Gary Waite. The guest editorial team consists of Driedger, Quatrini, Schroeder, and Waite. In addition to spiritualist cultures among Protestants in post-reformation England, Germany, and the Low Countries (approx. 1521-1721), the collection will be of interest to scholars of religious dissent and nonconformity, the variety of ways that researchers discuss “radicalism” in early modern religious cultures, and the debates about “the Radical Reformation” and “the Radical Enlightenment.”

You can link to the Special Issue by going to There you can find free downloads of the Special Issue introduction, plus several other Open Access articles. All of the other articles are available to CHRC subscribers, and the articles will soon be available through university library connections (after the embargo period).

The collection began at a symposium in Amsterdam in the summer of 2019. Other symposium contributors who have published related work in other venues and are therefore worthy of special attention from readers of this collection are:

We recommend their work highly!

The guest editorial team would like to thank the journal’s editors and production staff (Ward Holder and Dieuwertje Kooij in particular) for their work in guiding this collection from a proposal to publication!

Norman Cohn’s Divergent Legacies: A Presentation on YouTube

On the 23rd of June, 2020, I gave a paper via remote link to an audience at the Europa Universität in Frankfurt / Oder. The talk is entitled:

Reflections on The Pursuit of the Millennium, Europe’s Inner Demons, and The War on Heresy: Six-Word Arguments to Highlight Norman Cohn’s Divergent Legacies. (The orange text is important when you peruse the Prezi frames.)

I used the Prezi below in the presentation. You can explore it on your own by going to There are many frames that I did not discuss in detail.

If you would like to read my presentation, you can find it by opening the rest of this post.

UPDATE from 27 May 2021: I have changed the title of this post (although the URL remains the same). The original post indicated that the YouTube video and other parts of the post were related to a June 2020 presentation (Vortrag) I was making at the Europa-Universität in Germany.

UPDATE from 24 June 2020: I have put the recording of my presentation on YouTube. The text below is a close but not exact transcript of the presentation.

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Amsterdam Conference Presentation, 12 Nov. 2022

Amsterdam Conference Presentation, 12 Nov. 2022

Amsterdam as a City of Refuge for Contributors to the Growing Book Industry during “the Golden Age”:

Evidence from the eCartico Website

This paper presents some preliminary work based on an analysis of data collected in a multi-year, online research project (eCartico). eCartico is one of several digital projects in early modern history based at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. I am not associated actively with any of these projects, but I do know one of eCartico’s main contributors.

My purpose in this paper is to highlight this valuable resource for participants at the conference on “Amsterdam as a Haven for Religious Refugees in the Early Modern Period” (10-12 Nov. 2022, held at the Embassy of the Free Mind / Ritman Research Institute in Amsterdam). For more details about the conference, go to

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July 4: On this day!

Below is a set of thoughts about July 4. Yes, lots of horrible and questionable things have happened on this day (#onthisday). The list below is my selection of what I hope are more positive events (using the Wikipedia page for July 4 as the starting point, and then subtracting many, many selections). The list that remains is dedicated to Philipp! I have added some additional headings in ALL CAPS and bold text to highlight entries that I think are worth further investigation.

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Evidence of Ana/Baptist Book Production, 1521-1700: Some Technical Notes

Evidence of Ana/Baptist Book Production, 1521-1700: Some Technical Notes

Last updated: 10 August 2022


A mainstream assumption in Mennonite studies since the early 20th century (maybe the 1880s, more accurately) is that early modern Mennonite history (i.e., Mennonite history before 1800 or even 1900) was shaped primarily by German culture and German-language sources. This assumption is problematic because it is built on an empirically questionable foundation! In other words, the sources and evidence for this assumption are weak.

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I’m in the process of writing an article for the Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter on the theme of “1625”. What follows are some technical notes.

The German-language article will be titled “1625 – Das lange 17. Jahrhundert als eine Goldene Zeitalter täuferischer Buchproduktion“.

  • UPDATE (July 2022):
    • The German version of the essay is now scheduled for publication by about October 2022.
    • A Dutch version of the essay is now in the planning for publication at the very end of 2022 in the Doopsgezinde Bijdragen.
  • UPDATE (August 2022):
    • An English version of the essay is in the works with the title:
      • “1625, the Dutch Republic, and Book History: Perspectives for Reframing the Early Modern ‘Anabaptist’ Past.”

In preparation for the essay in its multiple versions, I did some careful counting of titles in two research bibliographies. The details are available below.

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Joseph Sattler, _Die Wiedertäufer_ (1895): The Complete Illustrations

Joseph Sattler, _Die Wiedertäufer_ (1895): The Complete Illustrations


If you are a publisher looking for an image of 16th-century Anabaptists, especially the “fanatical” Anabaptists who controlled the city of Münster, Westphalia, for much of 1534 and 1535, one of the likely places you’ll look is the Granger Historical Picture Archive

I’ll be adding more details to this post soon. For now, I am making the complete 1895 collection available online (use on the terms of a CC licence). For a pdf version of the collection, go to (Note: The link seems to work best when viewed using the Chrome web browser.)

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“The Ghost of Menno Simons”: 18th-century trolling?

“The Ghost of Menno Simons”: 18th-century trolling?

For a little fun on Hallowe’en 2021, this post provides highlights from a short, 8-page pamphlet written in the voice of a ghostly Menno Simons. The Dutch-language pamphlet is anonymous and undated, but it from the early 1780s. This was the era of the Patriot Movement against Orange family rule in the Dutch Republic. One of the leading national organizers of the Movement was the Mennonite preacher in Leiden, François Adriaan van der Kemp. The anonymous author of the pamphlet uses the voice of Ghost Menno to wag a finger at Van der Kemp and his ilk. In 2020s terms, the author seems to be “trolling” democratically oriented, anti-Orange, Dutch Mennonites of the 1780s.

You can read more about Van der Kemp at this website (, and

Post updated: 2 Nov. 2021 (see text that follows the image of the title page below)

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