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Simon Oomius on the Elderly

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A Seventeenth-Century Pietist as Spiritual Guide

image of Church History and Religious Culture

This contribution connects the issue of spiritual leadership with the religious ideas and ecclesiastical and social environment of a seventeenth-century Dutch preacher, dr. Simon Oomius (1630–1706). Oomius represents the movement known as the Further Reformation (Nadere Reformatie), or Reformed Pietism. The focus is on his perception of old age. Through a close reading of his treatise Cierlyke Kroon, this article highlights a specimen of pastoral leadership associated with the seventeenth-century Dutch Reformed theologia ascetica. Seven qualities for his spiritual leadership can be traced: Oomius’s own old age, his spirituality, academic education, use of examples, hermeneutic competence, ability to empathise, and spiritual training.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Church History, Kampen Theological University, Kampen, The Netherlands


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