Princess Beatrix attends VU-symposium
On November 9th 2013 the symposium ‘Van pakhuis tot preekhuis’ took place in the Oude Lutherse Kerk in Amsterdam. Dr. Sabine Hiebsch (W.J. Kooiman-J.P. Boendermaker Luther Research Position) organized this symposium to mark the 425th anniversary of the Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation Amsterdam (1588-2013).
Symposium and jubileebook illustrate the mission of the W.J. Kooiman-J.P. Boendermaker Luther Research Position: to study Luther’s theology as well as its reception and continuation in the Low Countries and to make the research results accessible for a wider audience.
Very well attended
The VU-symposium drew an audience of about 200 visitors from across the country: Lutherans and non-Lutherans, representatives of the Evangelical-Lutheran Synod, the board of the general synod of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the Protestant Church Amsterdam, the classis Amsterdam, the German-Evangelical Congregation in the Netherlands, the Norwegian-Lutheran Congregation in the Netherlands, the Old-Catholic Church, the Anabaptist Congregation Amsterdam.
VU University was represented by Professor W. Janse, dean of the Faculty of Religion and Theology and Vice-Rector.
To pay tribute to the historical and actual bond between the Lutheran community in the Netherlands and the Lutheran churches in Germany and Denmark the symposium was also attended by the ambassador of Denmark, His Excellency Mr. O.E. Moesby and the German consul, Mr. B. Weiser.
Guest of honour was Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, who was also presented with the first copy of the jubileebook by Dr. Sabine Hiebsch.
Her presence underlined once again the bond of the Royal House with the Lutheran tradition. A tradition that always manifested itself as a religious minority in the Low Countries.
The symposium highlighted the 425 year old history of the Lutheran congregation in Amsterdam with an interdisciplinary approach that included history, theology, art history and the history of music. The programme contained four lectures.
- Dr. Gerard van Manen outlined the initial period of the Lutherans in Amsterdam, when they gathered in private houses, under the cross, and the development until 1605. He showed how the house community dealt with all sorts of challenges and became a self-confident congregation.
- Martin L. van Wijngaarden described some of the Amsterdam Lutheran chalices and interpreted historical illustrations on which they appear. The German influences on these Dutch Lutheran chalices, as material expression of the Lutheran tradition were at the core of his presentation.
- Laura Roscam Abbing gave an art historical description of the brunailles, illustrations on the balustrade next to the organ in the Oude Lutherse Kerk and shed new light on their history of origin and the art historical background.
- Dr. Sabine Hiebsch focused in her presentation on a thus far barely researched topic: Dutch Lutheran communion tokens. She described their theological and liturgical framework and showed how they functioned as a symbol of tangible faith in the religious life of the congregations.
Next to the lectures, organ music, composed by Lutheran organists from Amsterdam throughout the centuries was a focal point of the symposium. Pieter van Dijk and Klaas Koelewijn played organ works of Jacques Bonset, Samuel de Lange jr., Albert Pomper, C.F. Hendriks jr. and Cor Kee. Together with soprano Elma Timmers-Dekker Pieter van Dijk premiered part of the Alauda Spiritualis, composed by Jacobus Haffner, the first organist of the Oude Lutherse Kerk.
The jubileebook contains the longer versions of the presentations of the symposium, together with some other contributions. Especially for the occasion of the jubilee of the Lutheran congregation in Amsterdam Pieter van Dijk and Klaas Koelewijn recorded a CD, that gives an impression of Lutheran organ music from Amsterdam, with the focus on the 19th and 20th century. The CD is included in the book.
S. Hiebsch/M.L. van Wijngaarden (red.), Van pakhuis tot preekhuis. 425 jaar Lutherse Gemeente in Amsterdam (1588-2013), Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum 2013, ISBN 978 90 239 2744 0; 124 p.; € 22,50.
See the first review: Reformatorisch Dagblad (A. de Heer), November 15th, 2013.
See more pictures of the symposium: