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Blog 'Back to the sources together'

17 October 2018

Back to the sources together

As you may have heard, TUA is participating in the European project ReIReS (Research Infrastructure on Religious Studies). Within this project, European academies cooperate in the research of historical documents within religious studies. From the 23rd to the 28th of September, 18 scholars from all over Europe were together in Mainz to be trained in handling historical documents at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität. On behalf of TUA, I was one of the participants.

Every scholar of religious studies has his own background and approach. The participants in Mainz were very diverse in this regard. I fully endorse TUA's mission, in which confessional study of the sources is held in high regard. The modern Church has to keep in touch with its history. Scientific research of the sources is invaluable in that regard. However, this field of research demands a lot of our small university. Researching the sources demands expertise that TUA is sometimes lacking. In this way, I have learned that TUA has a lot to learn from other institutions. The training in Mainz has been very valuable in this regard.

The participants have been involved in several specialized workshops. Some of them were: the reading of old manuscripts, Latin paleography and provenance. Also, a lot of dialogue has taken place concerning the future of cooperation in the research of the sources. As for me, these workshops have proven to be useful in my field of study: historical theology. When needed, I could pass on the knowledge that I gained in Mainz to my fellow students.


The Reformation has always stressed the importance of researching the sources. This is no easy task - and therefore, TUA is very much helped with these trainings. ReIReS can prove to be of much use in our attempts to keep in touch with church history. 

Going back to the sources - TUA is ready to continually invest in this. And we get a lot of help in this mission, too.

Jasper de Kok, MDiv student at TUA