Praying for (the) Community: Disasters, Ritual and Solidarity in the Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic
Number of pages
SourceCultural & Social History, 16, 5, (2019), pp. 543-560
Article / Letter to editor
Door zonden verbonden. Achttiende-eeuwse predikanten creëerden solidariteit met armen en rampenslachtoffers
Bidden voor de gemeenschap in de achttiende-eeuwse Republiek -
Praying for (the) Community. Disasters, Ritual, and Solidarity in the Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic -
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Cultural & Social History
SubjectEurope in a Changing World; Transnational Europe
Organised in the wake of disasters, early modern emergency rituals were intended to persuade God to waive further punishment. However, this article shows that these rituals were as much about communities as about God. Based on a close reading of prayer day letters, sermons, and instruction manuals from the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic, it proposes a Durkheimian interpretation of the rituals. For a day, participants collectively lived through an emotional disaster experience. This experience was then converted into (financial) solidarity with the victims.
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