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.”
Two-Eyed Seeing Applied to 16th-Century History and to Astronomy (with New / Medieval Perspectives on Animal Rights) (#podcastpairings)
This post connects two recent programs from CBC Radio’s Ideas series that provide very helpful Indigenous perspectives on the history of encounters between Indigenous Americans and Europeans in the early modern era, and on the reorientation of knowledge about astronomy.
- The 5 April 2023 Ideas broadcast features a discussion between host Nahlah Ayed and British historian Caroline Dodds Pennock about her 2023 book On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe (2023).
- The 21 April 2023 Ideas broadcast, “Perimeter Institute Conversations About Science and Identity,” features the research of Hilding Neilson on Indigenous (particularly Mi’kmaw) astronomy.
True Crime and Conspiracy Theories: The Sherman Murders (#podcastpairings)
In December 2017 a Canadian billionaire couple, Barry and Honey Sherman, were found dead in their Toronto home. At first the police suspected a murder-suicide, but after protests from the family and a private counter-investigation, the police were persuaded to change their theory of the case. The investigation is ongoing. This post provides links to three podcast series that I find helpful for learning about the case in all its complexities.
Podcast Pairings (#podcastpairings): A Preview of More Posts (2023)
This blog series is focused on my main research subjects: the history of Dutch- and German-speaking adult baptizing Protestants (Mennonites, Doopsgezinden and others maligned as “Anabaptists”) and other European religious minorities before about 1850. This is a very specialized area of research.
With this post I’m starting a new focus for upcoming entries: “Podcast Pairings”. I plan to use posts under this heading to record my broader reading and listening interests.
“Reading” Early Modern Dutch Texts with Voyant Tools: Examples from Three Revolutionary-Era Mennonite Sermons
THIS POST WAS FIRST COMPLETED ON 1 March 2023
The Bigger Purposes of This Post Are Three-Fold:
- to promote digital text analysis as a complement to traditional techniques of close reading, and Voyant Tools as a first-choice for digital analysis programs;
- to advertise my Dutch stop-words list (available in Voyant Tools and in Academia.edu); and
- to give some background about the career and ideas of the unconventional Dutch Mennonite preacher and revolutionary-era activist — François Adriaan (Francis Adrian) van der Kemp.
In this post I have several interactive windows from Voyant Tools. The text-combination I use in each Voyant window includes 3 sermons from the anti-Orange activist and Dutch Patriot Movement leader François Adriaan van der Kemp. Each sermon is from Elftal Kerkelyke Redevoeringen [11 Sermons]. In 1782, when he published the collection, van der Kemp was the preacher of the Doopsgezind (also known in English as “Mennonite”) congregation in Leiden. The sermons were presented at several Doopsgezind congregations in the Dutch Republic. The stop-word list helps make the Voyant analysis manageable and productive.
NOTE: This post is best viewed on a laptop or desktop computer, not a phone or smaller tablet.
The Mennonite Preacher François Adriaan van der Kemp’s 1782 Sermon on the Duty to Tell the Truth (from _Elftal Kerkelycke Redevoeringen_; original Dutch with no commentary)
HET SPREEKEN der WAERHEID DEN LEERAEREN GEOORLOOFD.
Gal. IV: 16.
Ben ik dan uw’ vyand geworden U de waerheit zeggende?
The Mennonite Preacher François Adriaan van der Kemp’s 1782 Sermon on the Duties of Wives (from _Elftal Kerkelycke Redevoeringen_; original Dutch with no commentary)
DE PLICHTEN DER VROUWEN.
Coloss. III: 18.
Gy vrouwen! zyt uwe eigene mannen onderdaenig, geljk ‘t betaemt in den Heere.
“Wel dien, die een vernuftig wyf heeft; wel dien die een deugdzaem wyf heeft; dies leeft hy nog eens zo lange. Een huislyk wyf is haeren man ten vreugde, en vervult de jaeren zyns levens met vreede. Een deugdelyk wyf is eene edele gave, en wordt dien gegeven, die God vreest. ‘t Zy dat hy ryk of arm is, zo is ‘t hem een troost en maekt hem altyd vrolyk. Een vriendelyk wyf verblydt haeren man, en wanneer zy vernuftiglyk met hem omgaet, ververscht zy hem zyn harte; een vrouwe die zwygen kan is eene gave Gods; eene welgemanierde vrouwe is een onwaerdeerbaer goed, het liefst op aerde; en een kuisch wyf is ‘t kostelykst van allen”.
A Dutch Mennonite Preacher’s Revolutionary Sermons from 1782: Background about _Elftal Kerkelycke Redevoeringen_ [11 Sermons]
Bow before the God of Freedom, or bend your neck under the Yoke.
— François Adriaan van der Kemp, 1782
Original from _Elftal Kerkelyke Redevoeringen_, page 243: …”bukt U voor den God der Vryheid, of kromt uwen nek onder het Juk.”
Van der Kemp is probably best known among scholars today as a friend to several of the American Founding Fathers and an immigrant to the young American Republic. His pre-American, Mennonite career in the Dutch Republic is much less well-known, especially in the English-speaking world. This post is about what might seem at first glance to be a surprising link between religion and politics. After all, what was van der Kemp doing giving a set of revolutionary sermons? Weren’t Mennonites pacifists? The answers are quite complex. This post will provide some historical background to the sermons. For a biography of François Adriaan (Francis Adrian) van der Kemp, see the biography included at https://dutchdissenters.net/wp/2019/03/francois-adriaan-van-der-kemp/.
Happy Birthday, John Lydon: Musings about Musical and Religious Nonconformists
UNDER CONSTRUCTION…This is a draft post, started on Jan. 31, punk superstar John Lydon’s birthday (born 1956). Is it a coincidence that Menno Simons also died on Jan. 31? Weird, right? What could be weirder? Answer: The fact that Menno Simons shaped his career as a religious reformer around his reaction against the legacy and memory of Jan van Leiden (aka John of Leyden)!
Mennonite Book Ownership: Evidence from Early Modern Dutch Book Sales Catalogues
Updated: 30 Dec. 2022
Below is a list of Dutch Doopsgezind-Mennonites whose estates created auction catalogues of books. The source is Books Sales Catalogues of the Dutch Republic, 1599-1800 (https://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/book-sales-catalogues-online). The purpose for collecting these names is my ongoing research on early modern Dutch Mennonite cultural history. I have not yet had a chance to analyze any of these catalogues, but I have written about another one from Germany (published in the 1999 edition of the Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter). You can find a pre-publication version of the essay at https://www.academia.edu/11125489/Gerrit_Karsdorp_1729_1811_Mennonite_Preacher_and_Supporter_of_the_Enlightenment_The_Library_of_a_Hamburg_Businessman_1999_.
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 https://embassyofthefreemind.com/en/library/271-amsterdam-as-haven.