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Material Moments in Book Cultures

Essays in Honour of Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser

Simon Rosenberg and Sandra Simon

This Festschrift honours the dedicated book historian and medievalist Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser. Her wide-ranging scholarly expertise has encouraged and influenced many adepts of the book. The essays in this volume reflect the variety of her interests: The contributions range from Chaucer’s Fürstenspiegel to the value of books in comedy, from the material book to the magical book in religious and literary cultures, from collaborative efforts in manuscript production to the relations of distributors of books across national and ideological boundaries, from the relations between the makers of books to the relation of readers to their books. Covering a period from the Middle Ages to the present, the volume concludes with a look at the future of book history as a field of study.
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The Printed Acta Synodi Nationalis Dordrechti as a Networking Tool


Janika Bischof, Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek, Emden


Book gifts are important in creating and maintaining networks across borders. After the Synod of Dordt had concluded, presentation copies of the acts of the synod were sent to England. These gifts can be described as tools in the effort to strengthen the network of the Reformed faith in Europe.

A year after the Synod of Dordrecht concluded, presentation copies of the Acta Synodi Nationalis Dordrechti were sent to England to be presented to King James I, Prince Charles and Archbishop George Abbot. These gifts as well as the dedications in the printed editions of the Acta Synodi Nationalis can be seen as tools in the effort to strengthen the network of nations committed to the Reformed faith in Europe at the start of the seventeenth century. Presented and dedicated books played an important role in the context of establishing and strengthening networks across borders. Modern network theory can help the understanding of these interactions by giving us the terminology and tools to analyse these gifts and their place in a wider historic context.

In November 1618, Protestants from across Northwestern Europe gathered in the small city of Dordrecht (also referred to as Dordt) in the Netherlands to settle a religious conflict on the doctrine of predestination within the Dutch Protestant Church. The controversy had started in 1602 as “a theological dispute between two professors of the university of Leiden, Jacobus Arminius and Franciscus...

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