CONFERENCE: Amsterdam as Haven for Religious Refugees in the Early Modern Period (10, 11, 12 November, Amsterdam, hybrid)

Kyra Gerber Discussion

In the 17th century Amsterdam became a hotbed of religious exchange, as religious exiles from all over the continent flocked to the Netherlands and especially its capital city because of relatively lax laws on religious expression and publishing. One center of such exchange was the so-called House with the Heads on Keizersgracht, the home of Louis de Geer and later his son Laurens. Both men acted as patrons to a variety of religious free thinkers and reformers. Figures such as Jan Comenius, Friedrich Breckling and Christian Hoburg gathered in the de Geer home to discuss their ideas. Today, the House with the Heads is home to the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica and its associated museum, the Embassy of the Free Mind. We are currently preparing an exhibition on the history of the House with the Heads. As part of these preparations, we are hosting a conference 11-12 November 2022 on the role of Amsterdam as a haven for religious refugees.

Over two days, a group of international experts will explore different groups’ or individuals’ experiences (Jews, Radical Pietists, Huguenots, etc.), the role of publishing in the city, patronage, conflicts between groups, urban versus rural strategies for survival, the role of war in the era and other related topics. The conference will take place on-site, but will also accommodate speakers from afar through digital connection. Likewise, the public can attend in person or remotely. A conference publication is planned.

The complete conference program can be viewed here.

Those who wish to attend in person should contact the Director of the Ritman Research Institute, Lucinda Martin:

Those who wish to view lectures remotely by zoom should request a link from Junior Researcher Kyra Gerber:

Tickets to attend the evening lecture by Emil Schrijver will be sold separately. Tickets can be bought here.

Learn more about the Ritman Research Institute here.