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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


RAATH, Andries. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2016, vol.42, n.3, pp.85-101. ISSN 2412-4265.

Rutger Schutte (1708-1784), the pietistic author of popular hymnbooks, composed his spiritual verses at a time the religious culture of Pietism was approaching its zenith in the Netherlands and other European countries. In addition to his contribution to Een Nieuw Bundeltje Uitgeknipte Geestelyke Gezangen [A new collection of suitable spiritual songs] (third edition, 1721), he composed three collections of Stichtelijke Gezangen [Edifying hymns] from the early 1760s. In addition to the extensive prefaces in these collections, Schutte added long annotations, thereby creating the impression of academic depth - a style which elicited much criticism. However, Schutte's hymns introduced a new popular culture of hymn-singing. At the time of his death his hymns had found staunch adherents in many spheres of life. This essay identifies several themes central to Schutte's hymns: the quest for practical piety; the tension between the heavenly Jerusalem and the earthly Jericho; and the spiritual marriage bond between Jesus and the believer. These themes also surface prominently in the spiritual diaries of the Voortrekker woman Susanna Smit. The entries in her diaries from the early 1840s reflect extracts from Schutte's hymn "The voyage to Jerusalem" in particular. Her descriptions of and reflection on the metaphor of the Christian pilgrim's voyage to the eternal Jerusalem served as an important point of reference in her spiritual exercises.

Palabras clave : Pietistic; spiritual hymns; heavenly Jerusalem; earthly Jericho; Christian pilgrim.

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