Acta classis of the Dutch reformed church from 1573 to 1620

Edited by J.P. van Dooren, J. Roelevink, J. Bouterse, M. Kok, J. van Gelderen, C. Ravensbergen, P.H.A.M. Abels and A.P.F. Wouters, A.J. Verschoor; with the collaboration of A.J.J. van ‘t Riet and J. van den Berg.

In the late 16th century and in the 17th century, the classis, a clerical assembly, lay at the centre of the reformed church. It constituted the administrative mid-level between the local church councils and the provincial synods. All matters of any importance were dealt with by the classis.

The series of publications entitled ‘Classicale acta’, contains the minutes of each classis. The publications always begin with the oldest surviving Acta, usually dating from the last quarter of the 16th century. The series ends at 1620 when, after the National Synod of 1618-1619, the process of reformation was organizationally closed

The Acta provides insight into the organization of the church, the training and the vocation of preachers, the relationship between the church and secular authorities, the impact of the Reformation and theological debate. Numerous social issues are discussed including poverty, education, married life, superstition and witchcraft. The Acta Classis thus contains information for church, social and mentality historians.

The minutes of the classis are explained in brief where necessary. In addition, lists have been included of the municipalities and the preachers in the classis. Each section contains an index of persons, places and matters. As a lead-up to the texts there are introductions to the series as a whole and to each volume in particular.

The published Acta are from the classes of Dordrecht, Rotterdam/Schieland, Leiden, Woerden, Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland, and the classes of Overijssel, Delft and Gorinchem.

The classes of Schouwen and Duiveland, Tholen and Bergen op Zoom are works in progress. These volumes will be the last to be included in this series of publications and the project will then be wound up.