Amsterdam Centre for the History of Christianity

The Amsterdam Centre for the History of Christianity is a forum for researchers of the history of Christianity working at VU University Amsterdam. Through this forum they present themselves to national and international audiences, keep colleagues and interested outsiders informed, and promote internal and external communication. The Centre provides room for scholars from all faculties: general historians, and researchers in the fields of social, church, art, music and book history, the history of dogma and theology, the history of education, and the history of science.

The name of the centre first of all emphasizes the urban context within which it functions as part of VU University. As a Christian university in the Dutch capital Amsterdam it is the VU’s ambition to do justice to the rich cultural variety and spiritual pluriformity found both in the capital and outside it, in teaching, research, and services to society. One of the (many) core points of VU research is the study of religion, especially the world religions Christianity and Islam. Given the history of VU University Amsterdam it is not surprising that within this area much attention is given to the Protestant denomination.

As a Centre the ACHC is embedded in a hierarchical structure under the larger interdisciplinary research institutes of the VU. The research carried out by the various participants in the ACHC does not (necessarily) show programmatic unity. This unity is guaranteed at the higher aggregate level of the University institutes. A connecting element, however, is the fact that the ACHC research is not situated within the broad area of Religious History, but within the more specific field of classical History of Christianity. Focal points for research within the ACHC are Patristics, the relationship between early Christianity and Judaism, the Devotio Moderna, the late Middle Ages and the Protestant Reformation, the Mennonite tradition, spiritualism, Pietism, Protestant orthodoxy, Neo-Calvinism, canon law, the history of the religious book, Bible translations, and present-day Christianity.

The ACHC has an annual newsletter, which is distributed free of charge. It contains information on individual researchers, their projects, recent publications, conferences they attend, announcements, and reports, and invites colleagues from all over the world to establish contacts, exchange information, and collaborate. Eventually the ACHC may extend its activities to teaching: inviting or exchanging guest lecturers, or organising summer courses.

Director: Professor Wim Janse, w.janse@vu.nl  

More information

Address of the Centre:
Amsterdam Centre for the History of Christianity
Faculty of Theology, VU University Amsterdam
c/o Prof. Wim Janse
Main Building
De Boelelaan 1105
NL - 1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands