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.
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.
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.”
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:
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!
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.
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.
In the Winter Term of 2020, I led a seminar at Brock University on the theme of “fanaticism”. The post below was material related to the course meeting on 27 Jan. 2020. The subject for the seminar was a comparison of two books…
In February 2020 the HUMA 7P55 reading group will be testing Voyant Tools in conjunction with several theoretical readings by Reinhart Koselleck, Raymond Williams, and Ian Hacking. If you’d like to Read More, you’ll find a Voyant Tools analysis frame that compares Augustine’s City of God with Melville’s Moby-Dick: Or, the Whale. The reason for offering this comparison is that one of the participants is part of another reading group at McMaster University in Hamilton that is focused on these two texts (click the link to RELIGST 775). Note: The image above the post is a fixed version of the dynamic cirrus (word cloud) available below in the interactive Voyant window, together with many other dynamic frames.