The Distinctive Character of the Free University in Amsterdam, 1880-2005
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A Commemorative History
Written by Arie Theodorus Van Deursen
The Vrije Universiteit (VU) was started in 1880 as a Reformed Christian alternative to the secular Dutch public universities, which were dominated by a liberalism originating in the French Revolution.
The VU was the intellectual branch of a broad anti-Revolutionary or neo-Calvinist movement in late-nineteenth-century Dutch society. Spearheaded by theologian, commentator, educator and statesman Abraham Kuyper, this movement remained very influential in the Netherlands until the 1960s, when the VU broadened into ‘an ecumenical’ university.
The author, a retired professor of modern history at the VU, here recounts the engrossing history of this unique 125-year-old institution, using fully documented archival sources to detail the school’s ups and downs over the years. In his book he makes a Dutch complexity comprehensible.
Paperback, 538 pages, Bibliography, notes, index, illustrations.
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