“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 (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)

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Maria Aletta Hulshoff

Maria Aletta Hulshoff

Maria Aletta Hulshoff, daughter of the significant Dutch philosopher and Mennonite preacher, Allard Hulshoff, was (like her father) an ardent support of democracy. among her writings was the Peace-republicans’ manual; or, The French constitution of 1793, and the Declaration of the rights of man and of citizens, according to the Moniteur of June 27th, 1793; in the original French, together with a translation in English (New York, 1817).

Title page of Hulshoff’s 1817 book.

Other sources in English include the following:

I will try to add to this post in the coming weeks.

“Mennonite Revolutionaries: An Oxymoron?”

“Mennonite Revolutionaries: An Oxymoron?”

On Friday, 1 March, I gave a public presentation at the Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines. My talk’s title was “Mennonite Revolutionaries: An Oxymoron? Examples from the Dutch Republic (1780-1810), and (Maybe?) Their Relevance for Today.” It was the second of four talks in a public discussion series called “Peace of Cake” (talks about peace church histories and ethics, plus continuing discussions afterwards over cake).

The handout I shared at the talk is this timeline…

I’ll add a few notes to the Dutch Dissenters Blog from time to time.