Protestant Theology and Modernity in the Nineteenth-Century Netherlands

Arie L. Molendijk*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


This book researches the question of how nineteenth-century Dutch Protestant theologians and thinkers met the challenges of the modernizing world around them. The aim is to show that theology was fundamentally transformed and reinvented in a variety of ways—in response to the process of modernization. The focus is on intellectual history, but broader social and political transformations such as pillarization are discussed too. In-depth studies of a small number of significant and influential Protestant thinkers analyse how they addressed specific modern transformation processes, such as political modernization, the pluralization of worldviews, and the emergence of critical historical scholarship. It will also become clear that their careers were deeply impacted by these transitions. These intellectuals dealt with various aspects of modernization in different ways. Enlightenment values were fiercely attacked by orthodox Pietists, but embraced by ‘modern’ theologians, who strove for a synthesis of religion and the new findings of scholarship (biblical criticism, evolutionary theory, anti-supernaturalism). Positions were not fixed and theologians had to work hard to maintain their intellectual integrity. The Jew Isaac da Costa converted to Christianity and fulminated against the Zeitgeist. Allard Pierson, who in his youth had been under the spell of Da Costa, resigned from his ministry and adopted an ‘agnostic’ stance. Abraham Kuyper modernized theology and politics by laying the foundations of ‘pillarization’ (the segmented social structures based on differences in religion and worldview) of Dutch society. Abraham Kuenen revolutionized the study of the Old Testament, and Protestant theologians made ground-breaking contributions to the emerging science of religion.
Originele taal-2English
Plaats van productieOxford
UitgeverijOxford University Press Oxford, United Kingdom
Aantal pagina's224
ISBN van geprinte versie9780192898029
StatusPublished - 10-jan.-2022

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