Evangelicals in the Low Countries

Bart Wallet (Editor), Hans Krabbendam (Editor), Aaldert Prins (Editor)

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Abstract

The term “Evangelical” identifies a culture of religious practice and belief found within an Anglo-American framework. The special issue of Trajecta, the Belgian-Dutch journal on Religion, Culture and Society in the Low Countries (no 2017/2) is centered on the roots of this distinct religious tradition in Europe and its development across the European mainland. This special volume aims to pave the way for a more integrated and transnational approach to the history.

Two recent trends in the study of Evangelicalism justify this special issue that concentrates on the early periods in the Low Countries: the domain “religion” entered transatlantic studies as part of the perceived contrast between a “secular” Europe and a “religious” United States, and the secularization debate began its next, most contemporary phase. Concurrently, Anglo-American historians sought to capture the larger story by investigating global Evangelicalism. Historians outside the discipline of church history, and those interested in cultural exchange entered the field at a relatively late stage and directed their attention to the early, formative period of pioneers. They connected religion with politics – mostly in the Cold War context – and with consumerism, and the history of emotion, among other things.

For the first time the articles in this special issue look at activities of Evangelicalism on both sides of the Dutch-Belgian border. They look at instruments of Evangelical mobilization and consolidation and make the connection to other areas of Evangelical inspiration. In so doing, the articles add a comparative dimension to the Evangelical experience in geographically related, but confessionally distinct Catholic and Protestant areas. The choice in this volume, to study the Dutch and Belgian cases next to each other, opens up the possibility of redefining Evangelical identities as part of transnational religious movements. First, most of the articles address Anglo-Saxon involvement in the founding and consolidation of local Evangelical communities. In no case, however, do Belgian and Dutch Evangelicals simply adopt a pre-ordained concept. Rather they adapt their Anglo-Saxon sources of inspiration to their own various contexts. Second, Belgian and Dutch Evangelical movements, while separated by a national border, shared a language – with the exception of French speaking Evangelicals in Brussels and the Walloon region. Mass events, books and publications, musical culture and icons of the movement were characterized by border crossings. Belgian Evangelicals participated in Dutch Evangelical institutions and movements, whereas Dutch Evangelists, immigrants and pioneers provided a significant impulse for the growth and consolidation of Belgian Evangelicalism. Third, this volume adds a transnational layer that looks beyond the evident Anglo-Saxon inspiration and the cross-border Dutch-Belgian encounter. Included here are case studies of encounters with African Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism in more recent migrant churches in the Low Countries, as well as a study of Evangelical missionary activities in Russia. Additionally, the case of the Christian village of Nes Ammim in the State of Israel gets special attention.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages192
JournalTrajecta
Volume26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Special issue Trajecta (26 (2017), 2): "Evangelicals in the Low Countries", Leuven : Peeters, 2018

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  • Cite this

    Wallet, B., Krabbendam, H., & Prins, A. (Eds.) (2018). Evangelicals in the Low Countries. Trajecta, 26(2).