Schitterende getuigen: Nederlands luthers avondmaalsgerei als identiteitsdrager van een godsdienstige minderheid

M.L. van Wijngaarden

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 2 (Research NOT UU / Graduation UU)


The celebration of the Lord’s Supper of the Dutch Lutherans was influenced by German Lutheran theology, but is nevertheless bearing the marks of the Dutch Reformed environment as well, e.g. in the frequency of it’s celebration. Also the design and the decorations of the Dutch Lutheran vessels (with some dynamic connotations over the centuries) bear signs of both spheres. Although some accents have changed during the centuries, with their early purchased silver sacred vessels the Lutherans glory in a manifest material culture. These vessels which were and are used for the Lord’s Supper by the Lutheran minority in the Netherlands were studied as a source itself.
Therefore, in this thesis I combined methods of material Christianity and memory-studies with the traditional approach to the study of the liturgy, as part of church history. This approach combined, entirely to the current Zeitgeist, theology with religious studies.
The interdisciplinary approach was helpful. For instance, material Christianity made aware of the continued use of old vessels, the beginning of an early flow of precious new vessels, particular rich forms and the dynamic meaning of the inscriptions. At the same time – and that is in report with memory-studies –a collective confessional identity was formed. This turned out to be a specific and continuing application of their own form and visual idiom over the centuries.
Furthermore, I used anthropological studies in this Church's historical thesis, like how donations were made and how rituals can be associated with social status. I perked up aspects of such studies on the acquiring and the continued use of Dutch Lutheran vessels.
It proved that not only different forms of rituals in religious groups contribute to identity formation and community building, the objects that are used helped as well. The communion ware not only appeared to be a sensible source but it also showed an expression of identity of the Lutheran tradition because of the chosen materials, forms and decorations. Especially various confessional tinted inscriptions have given substantial additional information.
Except from textual inscriptions also figurative decorations were applied. Most of them also were part of a theological identity program, showing they were not only Protestants, but Lutherans; in particular when Lutheran symbols were used.
All together, forms and decorations underline and characterise a religious minority culture of Lutheran Protestantism in the Netherlands throughout the ages.
Original languageDutch
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Meyer, Birgit, Primary supervisor
  • Spaans, Jo, Co-supervisor
Award date8 Jul 2016
Place of PublicationDelft
Print ISBNs978-94-6301-035-1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2016


  • Dutch Lutherans
  • Sacred Vessels
  • Material Christianity

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