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Religious controversy in comparative context: Ulster, the Netherlands and South Africa in the 1920s

Mathieson, Stuart Patrick orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-0781-3747 and Flipse, Abraham C. (2021) Religious controversy in comparative context: Ulster, the Netherlands and South Africa in the 1920s. History: The Journal of the Historical Association, 106 (371). pp. 429-455. ISSN 1468-229X

This article introduces a comparative element to the study of the fundamentalist– modernist controversies of the late 1920s, demonstrating that similar ideas are manifested differently in different spatial contexts. Although fundamentalism is primarily considered an American phenomenon, the article argues that the concerns animating fundamentalists in the United States also caused fierce debates elsewhere. It uses three heresy trials – in Belfast, Amsterdam and Stellenbosch – as case studies. In each case, the participants were part of an international Calvinist network, sharing the vast majority of their intellectual commitments and ecclesiastical structure. Yet these shared intellectual commitments did not result in the same outcomes when each group attempted to confront the idea of ‘modernism’ using their church disciplinary procedures. This study demonstrates that social and historical factors played a decisive role in the outcome of each trial. In Belfast, the violent legacy of the recent Irish War of Independence and partition of Ireland lent extra weight to calls for restraint and Protestant unity. In Amsterdam, the social structure of ‘pillarisation’ meant that debates were largely confined within one denomination, and so could be contested more fiercely. In Stellenbosch, meanwhile, the question of how the church should approach the fraught issue of race was the key factor.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Subjects:Humanities > History
Humanities > Religions
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of History and Geography
Publisher:Historical Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Official URL:https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-229X.13144
Copyright Information:© 2021 The Authors. Open Access (CC-BY-4.0)
ID Code:26296
Deposited On:29 Sep 2021 16:08 by Vidatum Academic . Last Modified 29 Sep 2021 16:08

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