Picking up the Pieces: Catholic Material Culture and Iconoclasm in the Low Countries

Our group member David de Boer has recently written an article on religious conflict for the Low Countries Historical Review.

Please follow this link to view or download the full text: Low Countries Historical Review, Vol. 131, Issue 1, 2016


“In 1566 the Catholic majority in the Low Countries witnessed the large-scale destruction of their religious habitat during the Beeldenstorm. Afterwards, Catholics treated the objects that had fallen to (or survived) iconoclasm in different ways. This article analyses how Netherlandish Catholics interacted with and renegotiated their material religious culture after its violent dislocation. I will argue that church objects had multiple layers of meaning and were tied to individuals, groups and local communities in various ways. Moreover, iconoclasm could fundamentally
change the meaning that was ascribed to these objects. By evaluating the diverse qualities of the objects that had come under attack, Catholics simultaneously found strategies to condemn the Beeldenstorm in secular terms.”

Destruction of Our Lady in Antwerp_BROWN

“In 1566 moest de katholieke meerderheid in de Nederlanden toezien hoe een groot deel van haar religieuze habitat werd vernietigd tijdens de Beeldenstorm. Katholieken behandelden de objecten die wel (of juist niet) aan iconoclasme ten prooi waren gevallen op verschillende manieren. Dit artikel analyseert hoe Nederlandse katholieken opnieuw duiding gaven aan hun religieuze materiële cultuur na haar gewelddadige ontwrichting. De rol van kerkobjecten in de vroegmoderne samenleving was complex en ambigu, omdat ze op verschillende manieren verbonden waren met individuen, groepen en lokale gemeenschappen. Iconoclasme kon er bovendien voor zorgen dat de betekenis van een kerkobject fundamenteel veranderde. Door de verschillende kwaliteiten van de aangevallen
kerkobjecten nader te beschouwen vonden katholieken strategieën om de
Beeldenstorm ook op seculiere gronden te veroordelen.”

Dutch print_city massacre_detail

How to Cite: Boer, D. de ., (2016). Picking up the Pieces: Catholic Material Culture and Iconoclasm in the Low Countries. BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review. 131(1), pp.59–80. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.10179

Monika Barget

Monika Barget studied history, history of art and theology in Augsburg (Germany) and Galway (Ireland). In 2013, she joined the international research group 'Early Modern Revolts' at Konstanz University as a doctoral student. Since October 2017, she has been project manager in the Letters 1916-1923 project at Maynooth University (Ireland). Her research interests include early modern constitutional history and political iconography.

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