Ernestine van der Wall, born in Ermelo, the Netherlands, in 1953. Ph.D. from Leiden University. Professor of the History of Christianity at Leiden University.
Fellow (1 September 2006 – 30 June 2007)
During my year at NIAS I worked on two projects. I made significant progress writing a book dealing with religious modernism in the period between 1840 and 1940. I analysed modernist discussions on the relationship between science and religion which led me to broaden the scope of my original plan which focused on Protestant modernism in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands. A comparative study of the issue of ‘religious innovation from within’ revealed significant affinities between Protestant, Anglican and Roman Catholic modernisms, which have been largely overlooked by historians. I found there had been a modernist network in Europe and North America in which men and (a few) women from various denominational backgrounds participated. I devoted most of my time to the study of this interdenominational and transatlantic aspect of religious modernism. A comparative approach helped me to rephrase the thesis of my book by focusing on the impact of modern historical methods and concepts on religion and theology. I was invited to deliver the Uhlenbeck Lecture 2007 on this topic. My second project was to produce a volume of essays and sources on religion and Enlightenment in the Netherlands 1650-1850, authored by participants of the interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Religion and Enlightenment. The book will appear in the autumn of 2007 (publisher: Vantilt, Nijmegen).