The Reformation of Community: Social Welfare and Calvinist Charity in Holland, 1572-1620

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Overview

The Protestant Reformation and revolt against Spain led to major struggles among civic and religious leaders over how to care for the poor in the cities of Holland. For centuries parish charity had been devoted to all poor residents. Calvinists, however, intended their church deacons (who were responsible for charity) to care primarily, if not exclusively, for poor church members. Focusing on six cities, this study shows that the struggle over charity is best understood as a conflict between two distinct visions of Christian community during the Reformation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Both social and church historians will welcome this first comparative study of poor relief in Holland."
Religious Studies Review

"This lucidly written and persuasively argued study will be essential reading for students of early modern social, religious, and political history."
Catholic Historical Review

"This carefully researched contribution to the development of poor relief and conceptions of ecclesiastical charity leaves the reader with a sense of a work well done. This work is copiously provided with appropriate charts, tables, and comparative statistics. Select illustrations ably illumine the visions of charity assumed and practiced by specific communities, and could have been interpreted. An essential addition to one's library."
Sixteenth Century Journal

"...Parker here weaves together the complex histories of religious upheaval, welfare reform, and political resettlement in a single narrative that is well documented and clear. The book is a necessary addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of Holland in the Reformation era."
H-German, Victoria Christman, Department of History, Luther College

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. The municipal community and parish charity in late medieval Holland; 3. The civic community and poor relief, 1500–1614; 4. Poor relief in a confessional community: the creation of the Dutch Reformed diaconate, 1566–1578; 5. The dynamics of the Reformed community: discipline and poor relief, 1572–1620; 6. Municipal welfare and the Calvinist diaconate, 1572–1620; 7. The pillars of a new society: religious pluralism and confessional identity in Reformation Holland; Bibliography; Index.

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