Category: The Netherlands


Evan Haefeli on the Dutch Origins of Religious Tolerance

An often overlooked aspect of the rise of religious freedom in the 17th and 18th centuries was the role of Dutch toleration for religious dissent. Prof. Evan Haefeli of Columbia University documents the critical role that the Netherlands played in fostering religious tolerance in the Low Countries and how this translated across the Atlantic Ocean in the colonial territory they held in the Americas for a half century. He offers a surprising conclusion on what the political-religious landscape would have looked like in post-colonial America had the Dutch been able to retain possession of their territories into the 18th century.

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Robert Woodberry on Missionaries and Democracy

Did Protestant missionaries help plant the seeds of democracy throughout the world? Prof. Robert Woodberry takes us on a historical tour-de-force around the globe showing how “conversionary Protestants” helped to promote literacy, spread printing technology, facilitate civic organization, defend religious and civil liberties, and protest the abuses of slavery and colonialism. We discuss how this happened and why Protestants were uniquely situated to do this, although we look at similar Catholic efforts in recent decades. We conclude with speculative thoughts about the Arab Spring.

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Thomas Kidd on the Pilgrims

Thomas Kidd (Baylor University) makes his second appearance on RoR to talk about the history of the Pilgrims, tracing their roots in 16th century England to The Netherlands and eventually to the Plymouth Colony in what is now today Massachusetts. Prof. Kidd discusses the differences the Pilgrims had with the Church of England and their Puritan brethren. We also explore why the king of England would allow a group of his critics to settle land in North America, the hardships that this group of religious refugees faced in their first years in the wilderness, and the imprint the Pilgrims left on U.S. history.

A great podcast for high school educators and homeschoolers, as well as a nice refresher course for those of us who think we remember our American colonial history. Plus, you get to hear your host recite poetry!

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