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A Sun that Lost its Shine: The Reformation in Dutch Protestant Memory Culture, 1817-1917

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This essay is a first exploration of nineteenth-century Dutch Protestant memory culture. Using Reformation commemorations as our case study, we show that the appropriation of Luther and Calvin for group identity purposes underwent a twofold transition in the century between 1817 and 1917. Whereas the unity of Dutch Protestantism was a dominant theme during the first decades of the nineteenth century, the Reformation became increasingly used as an instrument for justifying subgroup identities. Simultaneously, a past-oriented discourse (the Reformation as “origin”) was gradually abandoned in favour of a future-oriented discourse (Reformation “principles” that ought to be obeyed and applied). This, we argue, distinguished Dutch Protestant memory culture both from national commemorative discourse and from Protestant memory cultures abroad.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9515, NL — 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands;, Email: h.j.paul@let.leidenuniv.nl; 2: Department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Spuistraat 134, NL — 1012 VB Amsterdam, The Netherlands;, Email: B.T.Wallet@uva.nl

10.1163/187124108X316459
/content/journals/10.1163/187124108x316459
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/content/journals/10.1163/187124108x316459
2008-01-01
2016-12-04

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