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Servants Of The Congregation? – Reformed Pastors In Relation To Their Flocks

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Chapter Summary

Compared to other professions, Dutch pastors have always had an unusual legal status. The pastor is an independent legal entity attached to the Church. In return for their separate status, Catholic priests and curates must obey their superiors in the church hierarchy. Reformed pastors had no duty of this kind, but were more or less autonomous. This chapter shows that Dr. Abraham Kuyper actions-and their manifold consequenceswere closely tied to shifting relationships within the Reformed ministry, and to this profession's changing relationships with its clients, the Dutch state, the universities, and other professions. It also shows the changing relationship between the Reformed ministry and the state, with the government withdrawing from the religious sphere from 1840 onwards. The formal legal status of Reformed ministers seems to have gone almost unchanged in the course of the nineteenth century.

Keywords: Catholic priests; Dr. Abraham Kuyper; Reformed Pastors; servants of congregation

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