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Thesis defence Jaco van der Knijff

When:Th 05-07-2018 14:30
Where:Aula Aacademy Building, Broerstraat 5

On 5 July, Jaco van der Knijff will be defending his thesis entitled ‘Heilige gezangen. Herkomst, ontwikkeling en receptie van de lofzangen in het psalmboek van Dathenus en de “Eenige Gezangen” in de Staatsberijming van 1773’.

Ever since the sixteenth century in the Netherlands, the standard Calvinist view on church music has been that psalms are acceptable but hymns are not. Psalms come from the Bible, so they have divine authority, whereas most hymns are man-made compositions, and so may contain heresies. Yet the Dutch Calvinists do have a tradition of hymns: since the publication of the Authorized State Psalter in 1773, their psalter has included a collection of twelve hymns, referred to as ‘A few Hymns’. This collection is based on the series of hymns that have been part of Petrus Dathenus’ psalter since 1566.

In his study, Jaco van der Knijff describes how this collection, known as ‘A few Hymns’, evolved over a period of more than 200 years. He also addresses the central question of why these hymns were deemed acceptable and afforded special status by Orthodox Reformed believers, while all other hymns were rejected.

This study plugs a hymnological gap and makes an important contribution to the documentation of the history of congregational singing in the Netherlands.

Promotores: Prof. Arie Molendijk and dr. Jan Luth

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