Are the Netherlands a Nordic Country?

Reflections on Understanding the Lutheran Tradition in the Netherlands


  • Sabine Hiebsch Theological University Kampen



Dutch Lutherans, Nordic Influences, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leeuwarden, Swedish Agents


Contrary to the German Lands and the Nordic Countries the Lutherans in the Netherlands were always a religious minority under a non-Lutheran authority.

The history of the Dutch Lutherans is closely related to the migration streams of the 16th and 17th century, especially from the German Lands and the Nordic Countries. But the Nordic countries have barely been considered in the historiography of Dutch Lutheranism. 

This article shows that the relations between the Netherlands and the Nordic Countries happened on a variety of levels. Even though the confessional motivation wasn't always paramount, this Northern dimension had a decisive influence on the development of Dutch Lutheranism and provides an excellent comparative context to study it. In order to understand its place in the Dutch religious landscape and within the broader context of global Lutheranism, research on the role of the Nordic countries is indispensable.

Author Biography

Sabine Hiebsch, Theological University Kampen

Prof. Dr. Sabine Hiebsch holds the Kooiman-Boendermaker Chair for Luther Research and the History of (Dutch) Lutheranism at Theological University Kampen, the Netherlands. She studied Catholic and Protestant theology in Paris, Tübingen, Amsterdam and Bonn.

Hiebsch combines Luther research with the history of the Lutherans in the Low Countries, including the reception of Luther’s theology, and the religious life in Lutheran congregations and their international connections.




How to Cite

Hiebsch, Sabine. 2019. “Are the Netherlands a Nordic Country? Reflections on Understanding the Lutheran Tradition in the Netherlands”. Nordlit, no. 43 (September):68–86.