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"The Worst Of The Five" – The Rise Of The Young Doctor Of Theology

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Chapter Summary

The substantial increase in the number of theology doctorates awarded in the nineteenth century is partly related to the development theologians were integrated into the student community, gaining admission to the cultural elite. While at first, most young doctors came from wealthy families, university essay competitions created opportunities for students who were not as well off. By mid-century, though, the seemingly natural link between the two had been severed, and &t;formal eloquence,&t; which had previously united scholars, artists, poets, politicians, and preachers, was losing its persuasive power. Theologians had to prove that they were learned men. Their role, not just in academia but throughout Dutch society, was under threat, as the government distanced itself from the Reformed Church and its ministers, and new &t;pastors&t; and &t;teachers&t; in other religious denominations and anti-religious movements rose up to challenge their dominance.

Keywords: doctor of theology; Dutch society; Reformed Church



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