Samenwerking Nederland-Vlaanderen "In Readers' Hands. Early Modern Dutch Bibles from a Users' Perspective"

Corbellini, S., Hoff, R., Francois, W. & Tops, B.


Project: Research


The research project offers a fresh approach to the production, dissemination and use of sixteenth century Bible translations – key texts in the religious, cultural, social, and political transformations of the sixteenth-century Low Countries. By studying the surviving copies of vernacular Bibles printed by Willem Vorsterman, Jacob van Liesvelt, and Henrick Peetersen van Middelburch (372 from a preliminary overview), the project will provide a unique insight into the interaction between the biblical text and its readers, while also revealing the influence of current devotional practices, pastoral concerns, and theological beliefs in the often centuries-long periods that they were in use. In order to gain an understanding of the 'wirkungsgeschichte' of these texts, the proposed research will analyze the traces of use, ownership marks, content-related annotations, and even the censorship interventions found in the copies under scrutiny. The research will give a fresh look at the cultural dynamics of a key period in the history of the Low Countries. The approach also testifies to a significant ’turn’ in the attitude to vernacular Bible translations, characterized by a more nuanced view of the reaction of the (Catholic) Church and intellectuals to the issues of Bible translation and dissemination, as well as by a stronger focus on the ‘human factor’ and the agents involved in this process (translators, printers, users, readers, commentators, and in some cases, censors). The Groningen PhD candidate will study the extant copies of Bibles printed by Jacob van Liesvelt (107) as well as the copies of Peetersen van Middelburch’s editions (54).
Short titleIn Readers'Hands
Effective start/end date01/10/201830/09/2022
Related Publications
  1. In Readers' Hands: Traces of Use in Bibles from the Maurits Sabbe Library

    Corbellini, S., François, W., Hoff, R. & Tops, B., 13-Jul-2020

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibitionAcademic

  2. De Bijbel en de wereld: Klassieke mythologie in een zestiende-eeuwse Bijbel

    Hoff, R. & Jongen, L., 29-Apr-2020, In : Madoc : Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen. 34, 1, p. 35-45 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  3. Framing Biblical Reading Practices: The Impact of the Paratext of Jacob van Liesvelt's Bibles (1522-1545)

    Hoff, R., Nov-2019, In : Journal of Early Modern Christianity. 6, 2, p. 223-250 28 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

View all (8) »

Related Activities
  1. In Readers' Hands: Early Modern Books from a User's Perspective

    Sabrina Corbellini (Organiser), Renske Hoff (Organiser), Bert Tops (Organiser), Wim Francois (Organiser)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising an eventAcademic

View all (13) »

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