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Famous, but forgotten: Anne Zernike, the first female minister

26 June 2014

Anne Zernike is often named as the first female minister in the Netherlands, belonging to the Mennonite Church. In fact, she served a much greater part of her life as a minister for the NPB inRotterdam. The only Mennonite parish that she ever served, from 1911 until 1915, was that of Bovenknijpe (De Knipe) near Heerenveen. After her husband’s death in 1920, Anne Mankes-Zernike was not called by any Mennonite church, much to her distress.

Cover Biography Anne Zernike
Cover Biography Anne Zernike

From her books and many publications we see the image of a very outspoken woman, a pacifist and anti-militarist, aradical liberal and leftist-modernist minister and theologian; too liberal for many Mennonitesand Remonstants, and sometimes even too left-wing for the Liberals and the NPB. Her emphasison the close relationship between theology and the arts and her passionate defence of radicalliberalism made up the most important elements of her faith. The contours of these creeds could already be detected during her youth in Amsterdam.

On 3 July 2014, Froukje Pitstra will defend her thesis about this colourful woman.

Last modified:28 October 2016 11.36 p.m.
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