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Protestantse Huisgodsdienst in Nederland in Het Begin Van De Negentiende Eeuw

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image of Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History
For more content, see Church History and Religious Culture.

Family worship, or family prayer, is a form of piety which was propagated in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century by the pietistic movement of the Nadere Reformatie. It was still propagated when in the early nineteenth century the theological climate had changed. In family worship the members of a family held a sort of church service together: they prayed together, sang and read from the Bible or an edifying book. Around the year 1800 many books were written for family devotion in the Netherlands, even by such prominent theologians as Clarisse and Van der Palm. Moreover, many translations of devotional books of German origin appeared. In this article family worship is described on the basis of three treatises published by Dutch societies, the orthodox Haagsch Genootschap, the 'evangelical' Nederlandsch Zendeling Genootschap, and the liberal Maatschappij tot Nut van het Algemeen. These treatises were written for the 'common man'. They show that in the early nineteenth century family worship was propagated because religion was seen as the guarantee of the happiness of the family, and of the prosperity of society in general. The concept of family worship was especially suited to the pervading culture of homeliness in the Netherlands of the early nineteenth century. In spite of the different background of the three societies, their treatises do not differ from each other very much.


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