Dutch religious history is a fascinating subject that has drawn - and still draws - the attention of many professionals and laypeople from inside and beyond the Netherlands. In recent decades, religious history has been gradually transformed from a traditional theological discipline into a form of cultural history in the broadest possible sense of the term. Willem Frijhoff, professor of early modern history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, has contributed greatly to this development. He has often demonstrated his approach through case studies, ten of which are now re-issued in English translation in this volume. The articles are concerned with a variety of topics on religious and popular culture in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Netherlands. All contributions show a strong interest in interconfessional patterns, religious attitudes and expressions, and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Contents: List of illustrations, tables, figures, and maps Introduction by the editors Religious lif: Religious life in Amsterdam's Golden Age Religious coexistence: The threshold of toleration. Interconfessional conviviality in Holland during the early modern period Religious experience: Identity achievement, education, and social legitimation in early modern Dutch society. The case of Evert Willemsz (1622-1623) Religious doubt: Predestination and the farmer. An incident of life and faith in early seventeenth-century Holland Miracles: The function of the miracle in a Catholic minority. The United Provinces in the seventeenth century Signs: Signs and wonders in seventeenth-century Holland. An interpretative community Tensions: Catholic expectation for the future at the time of the Dutch Republic. Structure, and base lines to interpretation Panic: Prophecies in society. The panic of June 1734 Meaning: Votive boats or secular models? An approach to the question of the figurative ships in the Dutch Protestant churches Ritual: The Holy Shrine of Hasselt. Forms, values and functions of a revived pilgrimage Epilogue Index
'In this inaugural volume of its new publication series, ReLic, the center for Dutch religious history at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam pays tribute to Willem Frijhoff, a historian who has done perhaps more than any other to include the cultural study of religion into the academic discourse in the Netherlands. The editors have done scholars a great service by publishing an English translation of ten essays written by Frijhoff between the late 1960s and 2002. (...) For the first time presented to an English-speaking audience, these essays offer a valuable complement to histories that rely solely on ecclesiastical institutions and church doctrine to understand religious life. The cultural approach to the study of religion binds these essays quite well together. Unfortunately, the obscurity that sometimes characterizes Frijhoff's Dutch and French prose remains in the English version. In addition, overlap in argument and evidence is sometimes repetitive. These problems, however, are understandable considering the nature of the project and in no way take away from this survey of Frijhoff's most important and illuminating scholarly contributions. What Frijhoff does not suggest is that his conclusions concerning the patterns of belief and religious practice in the Netherlands deserve serious attention for scholars elsewhere. For Frijhoff, "Conflict and tolerance - do not exclude each other; they simultaneously are engaged in two different dimensions of daily life". (...) Hopefully, with the publication of an English edition of these ten essays, this perspective will find a greater audience.' Jesse A. Spohnholz, in: Calvin Theological Journal 39 (2004) 1. 'Het is moeilijk in het bestek van een bespreking recht te doen aan de reikwijdte van Frijhoffs even erudiete als toegankelijke essays. (...) Aantrekkelijk is het kikvorsperspectief dat Frijhoff in zijn essays hanteert. (...) De onderzoeksobjecten zijn mensen van vlees en bloed; hun gedragingen, opvattingen, verwachtingen en uitingen krijgen de volle aandacht nog voordat hun acties in een breder maatschappelijk, politiek, economisch en religieus perspectief worden geplaatst.' Matthijs Sanders in: De Academische Boekengids 44, mei 2004. 'Inevitably, the volume has the fractured quality of a collection. The essays are independent studies, published over some thirty years. Together, however, they offer a nicely distilled sample of Frijhoff's work. And despite the diversity of topics, they are held together by the particular quality of the author's thinking - bold in questioning, ingenious in interpretation, cautious in drawing conclusions, richly anchored context and lucidly formulated.' Miriam Bodian in: Journal of Modern History 77 (2005) 3. 'Again, this is a fascinating collection of essays that will bring to readers a new appreciation of religious impulses in the Netherlands that no doubt fashioned those in New Netherland, too.' Firth Haring Fabend in: De Halve Maen. Journal of the Holland Society of New York 76 (2003) 4, p. 79-80. 'Willem Frijhoff is undoubtedly one of the most important, innovative and influential historians of religion in the early modern Netherlands, yet his work is little known in the English-speaking world. It is therefore extremely good news that a selection of his articles in French and Dutch has now finally appeared in translation, with an introduction by two of his pupils, and an epilogue in which Frijhoff himself reflects both on his own intellectual development, and on the future of the field.' Judith Pollmann in: The English Historical Review cxix (2004), p. 141-143. 'Kurz: Man lernt aus dem Buch nicht nur eine Menge über die niederländische Religionskultur der Frühneuzeit, man lernt auch eine Menge über die Möglichkeiten des historiographischen Umgangs mit diesem komplexem Thema.' Olaf Mörke in: Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung 32 (2005) 2, p. 306-307. Verder gesignaleerd in: Reformatorisch Dagblad, 16-04-2003, p. 8; Recensiebank historischhuis.nl; Tijdschrift voor geschiedenis 116 (2003), p. 603-604; Journal of Modern History 77 (2005) 3, p. 831; Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 32 (2003), p. 142