The siege of Oldeklooster, 1535: A turning-point in Mennonite history

(Click the images for more details.)

Read more

Early modern Mennonite families in Dutch art

The Museum Van Loon in Amsterdam recently finished an exhibit of 18th-century family portraits. I’m posting a poster from that exhibit, plus 5 portraits of Doopsgezind families who lived in Amsterdam and Haarlem. The artworks are from the collections of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Museum. I plan eventually to add more details about these portraits and families; my goal is to place the expanded form of this post in the exhibits portion of this website. For now, click on an image to view it in more detail and to find links for more information.

For more details, click on the pictures.

EMoDiR: Research Group in Early Modern Dissents and Radicalism

EMODIR-logo Read more

Quotation: F.A. van der Kemp on the American Revolution as a model for the Dutch (1782)

In America the Sun of Salvation has risen, which will shine its rays upon us provided we so desire. Only America can revive our Trade and our Shipping…. America provides us again, if we dare look at it, a striking proof of how Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. America can teach us how to resist the degeneration of National Character, how to check the corruption of morals, how to prevent bribery, how to choke off the seeds of tyranny and restore moribund Liberty to health.

Read more

The Publisher of the Book Forged in Hell: The Output of Jan Rieuwertsz Sr., Spinoza’s Intellectual Agent

Nadler-BookForgedInHellThe title of this post is an allusion to Steven Nadler’s A Book Forged in Hell. That 2011 book is about Baruch Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise, a work that scandalized secular and ecclesiastical authorities in the later 17th century — and has influenced philosophers and historians in recent years. The purpose of this post is to share a bibliography compiled by Piet Visser and his students in the 1990s. Piet retired in June 2014 from his professorship at the Mennonite seminary at the Free University in Amsterdam. Before that he was the chief curator of rare books and professor of book history at the University of Amsterdam. It’s in this earlier role that the list that you can find below originated.

Read more

A “new” etching by Romeyn de Hooghe? Updated and revised post

deHoogheCatalog2008

Cover of a 2008 catalog that accompanied an exhibit in 2008-9 at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. The translation of the catalog title is “Romeyn de Hooghe: the late Golden Age brought to life.”

Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708) is a major figure in the world of European art history in the era of the Dutch Golden Age. What’s more, he played a significant role in Anglo-Dutch politics around the time of the Glorious Revolution as a supporter of William of Orange / William III. He’s been the subject of a significant number of exhibitions and academic studies recently. For example, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, has just finished an exhibit on “The Book Illustrations of Romeyn de Hooghe” (13 Sept. 2014 to 25 Jan. 2015). In this post I introduce an anonymous etching that I think might be by him (or maybe by his student Adriaan Schoonebeek).

Note: Since first publishing this post I have updated it a few times. One revision was from Feb. 8, and more thorough revisions are from Feb. 11 and 23. The main change in the most recent, thorough revisions is to downplay the importance of the 1660 edition of Hortensius.

Read more

Ngram reflections on Henri Krop’s Faultline 1700 paper

DBNL-Ngram-Godsdienst-enHenri Krop’s paper at the Faultline 1700 conference discussed shifting conceptions of religion in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. His paper’s short title was “From Singular to Plural.” Inspired in part by his paper, I have tried out a new digital humanities tool from the DBNL, the online database for Dutch literature. The graph above shows the frequency across time of the keywords godsdienst (religion) in green and godsdiensten (religions) in blue. For more on the DBNL ngram viewer, see this video. I haven’t been able to figure out how to embed an active version of the tool in this blog. The data points on the graph are clickable, if you use it as intended at dbnl.org.

A “small” distant reading experiment: Comparing Sara Burgerhart and Willem Leevend

Elizabeth_Wolff_and_Agatha_Deken-WikiCommons

Double portrait of Elizabeth Wolff and Agatha Deken by A. Cardon, 1784. Source = Wikimedia Commons

Betje (Elizabeth) Wolff and Aagje (Agatha) Deken, who collaborated as life partners and co-authors over many years, are giants in the Dutch literary canon. They were also integrated into the same religious, cultural and political networks that included many Mennonites. Can the tools of digital scholarship (Voyant Tools, in particular) provide any special insights into their loooooong epistolary novels? This post provides readers and me the opportunity to try out answers to the question using two novels: Historie van mejuffrouw Sara Burgerhart (1782), and Historie van den heer Willem Leevend (1784-85).

Read more

F.A. van der Kemp, “Redevoering gehouden op den Bededag van den 27. Febr. 1782”

NB: Any italicization is from the original. I have highlighted some significant phrases and passages with bold text. The original is from earlydutchbooksonline.nl. If you find passages that need correcting, please let me know. My intention is to make all 11 of van der Kemp’s 1782 sermons available in digital format. –MD

 

PS: This web format allows you, the reader, to put the URL for this post into Voyant Tools. If you wish to do online analysis, this step is easier than copying and pasting the text into the Voyant window. I will eventually remove this English text from the sermon.

 

REDEVOERING, OP DEN BIDDAG, 27. Febr. 1782.

 

Jer. XXII, 29.

O Land, land, land! Hoort des HEEREN voort:

Het dient niet weinig ter opheldering der geschiedenissen, zo des Bibels als des Joodschen Volks, dat de Almachtige deszelvs bizondere Beschermgod en Regeerer waere; door het welk veele, anderzints onoplosselyke, zwarigheden, worden weggenomen. In dezen zin, te weten, met betrekking tot het Staetsbestuur, was het ook, by uitstekenheid, dat God aen Israël zyne rechten en instellingen bekend gemaekt had, het geen hy niet deed aen andere volken.

Read more

Faultline 1700 conference in Utrecht seen through Voyant Tools

Faultline1700From 21-23 January I will be participating in a conference on the theme of “Enlightened Religion — From Confessional Churches to Polite Piety”. It will take place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and it is part of the Faultline 1700 research project. Together with Jonathan Israel I will provide some closing thoughts at the end of the conference. In preparation for this privilege, I will provide a few ways of summarizing the conference proceedings — even before it begins. Read more