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A Century of Historiography: The Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis, 1900–2000

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Church History and Religious Culture (formerly Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis. Since 1829) is the oldest scholarly journal in the Netherlands that still appears to this day. A reflection of the discipline of academic historiography, the journal is a historical source in itself. This essay focuses on the 1,162 articles that appeared in the Archief between 1900 and 2000, in an attempt to discern in this mirror some developments, changes, and tendencies in twentieth-century Dutch church historiography. The following topics are discussed: 2. the contextuality of church historiography; 1. the effect of the church historian's personality on church historiography; 3. the geographical and chronological range of the Archief; and 4. the Archief and general historiography. The conclusions are that until the 1960s Dutch church historiography, as far as reflected in the Archief, shared the general pillarization of the Dutch establishment. The personal orientations of especially the editors were decisive; the journal's focus was on national Dutch church history; the main object of attention was the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, most of all the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. The twentieth-century church historiography in the Archief was a modest reflection of the developments within general historiography; it recognized the importance of interdisciplinarity, but should be characterized as a strong classical discipline based on the study and interpretation of primary sources.

Affiliations: 1: VU University Amsterdam;, Email:


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