High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

The Dutch Reformation Revisited
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The Dutch Reformation Revisited

(Hans Cools) The Low Countries - 2006, № 14, pp. 280-282

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The widespread secularisation of recent decades led to speculation that God would disappear from the Netherlands. This prediction did not come true. The terrorist attacks in New York (2001), the murders of Pim Fortuyn (2002) and Theo van Gogh (2004) and the fire in a detention centre for illegal immigrants on the edge of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport (2005) threw the nation into total confusion. Sociologists and historians of all kinds are chiming in with their own answers. History, or more precisely Dutch history, is at the centre of public attention. In their recent surveys, Phil Benedict (Christ's Churches Purely Reformed) and Diarmaid MacCulloch (Reformation) rightly emphasise the unique character of the early-modern Dutch religious landscape. And the Ghent historian Johan Decavele focusses on the early phase of the Reformation.

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