UNDER CONSTRUCTION…This is a draft post, started on Jan. 31, John Lydon’s birthday (born 1956). In 1989 music writer Greil Marcus wrote Lipstick Traces about the history of punk music. The book suggests a connection between John (“Johnny Rotten”) Lydon and John of Leyden/Leiden, the former self-declared king of Anabaptist Münster who was executed in late January 1536. The reason for the connection requires some discussion for it to make sense — beyond the similarity of names. I hope this fill in some details in the coming days. In addition to Marcus’s reasons, I will add some details about German music writer Harald Justin’s thoughts on the subject.
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 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.
The basic message of this post is: Check out the Vrouwenlexicon!!! There are lots of fascinating details here about the lives of women from adult baptizing backgrounds before 1800. Look below for more details. I cite this post in my 2023 article “The Year 1625, the Dutch Republic, and Book History” (https://www.academia.edu/93269154/The_Year_1625_the_Dutch_Republic_and_Book_History_Perspectives_for_Reframing_Studies_of_Mennonites_and_Early_Modernity_2023_).
Updated: 3 Jan. 2023.
Last updated: January 2023
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.
The essay for which I prepared this research — “The Year 1625, the Dutch Republic, and Book Production: Perspectives for Reframing Studies of Mennonites and Early Modernity” — has now been printed in three languages. You can find the details by clicking the links for the German, Dutch, and English versions.
This post shares images from a famous 19th-century German printmaker that depict Anabaptist rule at Münster in the 1530s. It also outlines how these images have been confused repeatedly as 16th-century images.
UPDATED: 1 Jan. 2023
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 (https://dutchdissenters.net/wp/2015/03/quotation-kemp-1782/, and https://dutchdissenters.net/wp/2019/03/francois-adriaan-van-der-kemp/).
Post updated: 2 Nov. 2021 (see text that follows the image of the title page below)
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 https://brill.com/view/journals/chrc/101/2-3/chrchttps://brill.com/view/journals/chrc/101/2-3/chrc.101.issue-2-3.xml. 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:
- Brookelnn Cooper: See “Op zoek naar de anonieme drukker van Menno Simons’ De blasphemie van Jan van Leyden (1627),” Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 46 (2020).
- Judith Roades: See “Change and Continuity in Quaker Rhetoric after 1660,” Religions 12:3 (2021).
- Russ Leo: See his faculty webpage at https://english.princeton.edu/people/russ-leo for details about his recent publications.
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!
This is the start of new post. In it, I’ll highlight The Expert Guide to Conspiracy Thinking from the Anthill Podcast. Here’s a trailer for the series.
Stay tuned for more soon.
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 https://prezi.com/raocgxnxjxkv/. 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.