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.
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”.
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/.
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.
Iconoclash is a collection related to an exhibit from 2002 that is entitled “Iconoclash: Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Religion, and Art” (https://zkm.de/en/event/2002/05/iconoclash). It was the ostensible subject for our wide-ranging and very productive discussions on Feb. 24 on related subjects.
The text below dates from 2013. It is the previous unpublished version of a paper I presented at the annual meeting of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At the moment there are no notes with the text. I plan to update the text to include at least a bibliography. The title of the paper I presented in San Juan is “Mennonite Printers, Anticonfessionalism, and the Persistence of Dissent in the Netherlands.” Except for updating the title for this post, I have only edited the text of the 2013 paper very lightly.
Part of the reason for publishing the 2013 paper as a blog post now is that my grad student, Brookelnn Cooper, is finishing off her MA research paper, and she is making the case for Colom as the printer / publisher of Menno Simons’ Blasphemy. For more about the Blasphemy, see my post about it here.
ORIGINAL POST (May 2017): The Blasphemy of Jan of Leiden is the oldest text by Menno Simons, and it indicates that he was an early opponent of the Anabaptists of Münster. This, at least, has long been the consensus view about early Mennonite history. A challenge for researchers, however, is that the oldest copy of The Blasphemy is from 1627. This post introduces a project to find out more about this 1627 text.
UPDATE (Sept 2019): The transcription project is still in planning. Brookelnn Cooper has completed her MA research paper (“Identifying the Anonymous Printer of Menno Simons’ The Blasphemy of Jan van Leiden : A Typographical Analysis”) and her degree at Brock U, and she has begun doctoral studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, where she’s working with Jeffrey Collins.
Amsterdam’s Doopsgezind (aka Mennonite) church on the inner city canal ring called the Singel is a major landmark in the history of Dutch dissenters. Its modern address is Singel 452. The building did not and still does not look like a church from the outside. Since Mennonites did not enjoy rights of public worship in most part of the Netherlands until the 19th century, they usually made the outside of their meeting houses to look like a regular building (for more, see the Wikipedia article on clandestine churches). The Singelkerk is a major example of a Dutch clandestine church.
The Singel Church was the epicentre of the so-called “War of the Lambs” in the middle of the 17th century (see the building’s symbol). Read more →