Capturing Calvinism

On 12 October 2018, student association GHD Ubbo Emmius will once again host its yearly historical congress. This year’s congress will be all about Calvinism, and how it has affected the Dutch cultural and religious worlds.

All information can be found on this website!




Religion has always been an integral part of human society. It has inspired art, customs and morality all over the world throughout all of history. In the Netherlands, too, it has played a fundamental role, notably in the form of Calvinism. Calvinism, once but a minor branch of Protestantism, conquered the hearts of many in the Netherlands during the 16th century, and it continues to do so until today. During that time, it shaped Dutch history and culture. Its effects are still apparent to this day.


The concepts of Dutch sobriety and freedom, building blocks of our Dutch identity, can be tied to the legacy of Calvin. Have you ever wondered how much of a Dutch Calvinist you really are? How powerful Calvinism has been in shaping our Dutch roots? How has Calvinism affected the Dutch colonies of the past and other nations? For an answer to these questions, come visit the historical congress Capturing Calvinism on Friday the 12th of October. We’ll see you there!


Dutch History Month


This year, too, the historical congress GHD Ubbo Emmius takes part in the Dutch History Month. This year’s theme is ‘revolt’, which is of course tied to the historical Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Empire. However, the theme ‘revolt’ can also be tied to the idea of revolting against established authorities and ideas. To find one’s own path. Maybe one’s own path to spirituality?


Calvinism ties in with both of these ideas of ‘revolt’. When some of the Dutch adopted the Calvinist teachings in the 16th century, they did so to find their own path to spirituality. Their Spanish rulers then turned on them, enacting harsh punishments on those they deemed heretics. The resentment caused by these punishments later accumulated in a revolt by the Dutch cities; the Dutch Revolt.


Historical conference ‘Capturing Calvinism’ delves into both of these approaches to the idea of ‘revolt’. By looking into how Calvinism has helped the Dutch in finding their own path to spiritual and cultural identity, we can further explore the meaning of ‘revolt’ and what it may entail for a state and a people.