NBTS E-Story

NBTS Scholars Trace the History of the Dutch in America through Reformed Ministers

We are excited to let everyone know that a new volume of historical essays, Transatlantic Pieties: Dutch Clergy in Colonial America, is now in print and we're proud that many of its scholars and organizers are connected with NBTS. The essays trace the early history of the Dutch presence in America through the stories of Reformed Church ministers. Six of the authors are Dutch, the other six are American, so the volume itself is "transatlantic."

Most essays in the volume began as lectures in a two-part conference co-sponsored by the Reformed Church Center at NBTS, under the direction of the center's director Barbara Fillette at First Reformed Church in New Brunswick and at the van Raalte Center in Holland, Michigan in the fall of 2009.

One editor, Dirk Mouw holds the position of Fellow of the Reformed Church Center and periodically gives presentations of his research on the NBTS campus. An emerging voice in Dutch colonial studies, Mouw's forthcoming book will offer a provocative new interpretation of the colonial churches' famous controversies over their relationship to church bodies in the Netherlands. Mouw has two essays in the volume: an introductory essay, and an essay on the colonial minister Petrus Tesschenmaecker (ca. 1642-1690). Tesschenmaecker is known as an early example of a Dutch minister ordained in America without the approval of the Classis of Amsterdam, but he turns out to be significant in other ways as well.

An essay by John Coakley, Feakes Professor of Church History at NBTS, on John Henry Livingston (1746-1825) the first professor of NBTS, is also featured. John argues, among other things, that though Livingston's role in healing the colonial controversies was perhaps not as central as has sometimes been thought, he certainly ushered the RCA into the ranks of American "denominations", i.e., as a church committed to the doctrines and traditions it inherited from the Old World, yet enthusiastically endorsing the new American context of religious freedom.

Other authors and editors of the book have also contributed to the work of the Reformed Church Center located at NBTS over the years. Leon vand den Broeke of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, was the Center's Albert A Smith Fellow in 2007, and Jaap Jacobs of Harvard, Earl Wm. Kennedy of the Van Raalte Institute, Joyce Goodfriend of the University of Denver and the independent historian Faith Haring Fabend have all given talks at NBTS.

We also note that the volume is dedicated to Russell Gasero who was a key person in the conception and organization of the Transatlantic Pieties project and has assisted every phase of its production. Russell is the RCA archivist-as the dedication puts it, an "archvist extraordinaire"-and though he is a member of the national staff of the RCA, rather than an employee of the Seminary, he is based at Sage Library at NBTS and has been for many years a valued member of the seminary community and a partner in the work of the Reformed Church Center.

The NBTS community extends our congratulations to everyone who contributed to this important historical work!

Transatlantic Pieties is available for $35.00 now directly from Eerdmans: Click here to order

It will soon be available from Faith Alive Christian Resources, our preferred sale site. Once the page is set up, we will provide a direct link and a discount code for purchases.

Click here to read more stories.

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