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Honor, Gender And Discipline In Dutch Reformed Churches

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Chapter Summary

Discipline has widely been seen as a deterrent to join Reformed communities. This chapter argues that the existence of church discipline was a key attraction of the Reformed Churches in the Dutch Republic. This applied especially to women. Contemporaries were well aware of the presence of women in the Reformed Church. Gisbertus Voetius, who spearheaded the most orthodox wing of the Dutch Church in the mid-seventeenth century, noted in his tract Concerning Women that women were more religious than men. For unmarried women, who had little opportunity to manifest themselves in the corporate mainstays of urban life, church membership offered a rare chance to engage in a form of sociability that conferred honor to them. For women who were at high risk of being tainted by dishonor, and who had no one else to share the responsibility of protecting their reputation, church membership could be a good solution.

Keywords: church discipline; church membership; Dutch reformed churches; Gisbertus Voetius

10.1163/ej.9789004179226.i-360.9
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