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Pilgrims' Progress: Narratives of Penitence and Reconciliation in the Dutch Reformed Church

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image of Journal of Early Modern History

Historians over the past twenty years have utilized consistory records to analyze long-term patterns of illicit behavior and church punishment in Reformed congregations across Europe. Despite the value of these studies, a narrative approach to consistory records offers an opportunity to penetrate the assumptions of local church leaders and to discover real men and women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Using examples from the pivotal moments in the discipline process in the Dutch Reformed Church at Delft, this article reconstructs the narrative framework of discipline there. The author argues that consistory secretaries recorded discipline cases as ongoing stories of penitence and reconciliation in the lives of all sorts of church members.

Affiliations: 1: Saint Louis University


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