Neo-Calvinism & Religious Diversity


Course Objective

Gaining knowledge of Judaism and the relation with Jews in the
Netherlands end 19th, early 20th century. Learning about Abraham Kuyper
and neo-Calvinism. Getting acquainted with the nature and development of
antisemitism in this time span. Learning to analyze historical texts in
their context. Developing skills for dealing with the historical
dimension of moral themes.

Course Content

In his publications the theologian, politician, and journalist Abraham
Kuyper (1837-1920) focused several times on the Jewry of his days. In
the historiography Kuyper’s opinions have been qualified as antisemitic,
but there is no systematic research of his opinions available to
substantiate this qualification. In this course we analyze and research
texts by Kuyper on this subject, as well as how Jews and others reacted
to his publications. Wat is the influence of Kuyper’s neo-Calvinism on
his opinions regarding Jews, is there a development in his views, and
how deviant are his opinions, compared to those of contemporaries? And
how can the historiography be evaluated in the light of our research

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Contributions to seminars (20%) and final paper (80%).

Entry Requirements

BA Humanities or Theology; Fluency in Dutch


George Harinck, Aan het roer staat het hart. Reis om de oude wereldzee
in het voetspoor van Abraham Kuyper (Amsterdam 2015); G.J. van Klinken,
Opvattingen in de Gereformeerde Kerken van Nederland over het Jodendom,
1896-1970 (Kampen 1996); Jeroen Koch, Abraham Kuyper. Een biografie
(Amsterdam 2006); A. Kuyper, Liberalisten en joden (Amsterdam 1878); A.
Kuyper, Om de Oude Wereldzee I (Amsterdam 1907); M.J.H.M. Poorthuis en
Th.A.M. Salemink, Een donkere spiegel. Nederlandse katholieken over
joden, 1870-2005 (2006); I. Schöffer, ‘Abraham Kuyper and the Jews’ in:
idem, Veelvormig Verleden. Zeventien studies in de vaderlandse
geschiedenis (Amsterdam
1987) 159-171; Jan Willem Stutje, ‘Antisemitisme onder Nederlandse
socialisten in het fin de siècle’, BMGN – Low Countries Historical
Review 129-3 (2014) 4-26; Bart Wallet, ‘Protestants antisemitisme als
zwarte bladzijde’, Wapenveld 75: 3 (november 2015) 2–10.

Target Audience

Students MA and ResMA History, other Humanities or Theology.

Additional Information

As to research of historical documents we will use the collection of the
Historical Documentation Center for Dutch Protestantism in the VU
University Library. These documents can be researched – after a request
sent in the previous day – in the Special Collections reading room on
the first floor of the main building of the VU.

Recommended background knowledge

History of Dutch Protestantism and Jewry in the 19th century

General Information

Course Code L_GCMAGES017
Credits 6 EC
Period P2+3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. G. Harinck
Examiner prof. dr. G. Harinck
Teaching Staff prof. dr. G. Harinck
dr. B.T. Wallet

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: