Submission deadline: January 31, 2024

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for a topical issue of Open Theology


"Open Theology” ( invites submissions for the topical issue "Doubting Paul: The Legacy of the Dutch Radical School" edited by Wolfgang Grünstäudl and Jacco Pekelder (University of Münster, Germany).



This topical issue seeks to open a new perspective on one of the most controversial themes of New Testament Studies in Modern Europe: The rise and decline of the so-called “Dutch Radical School” (ca. 1850–1950). Unlike the mainstream of New Testament studies from the middle of the 19th century onwards, which recognized at least four (more often: seven) Epistles of the Apostle Paul as authentic, a small group of Dutch scholars (stemming from different cities, religious backgrounds and academic disciplines) claimed that there is no such thing as an authentic writing of Paul.

We are especially interested in the biographical, historical, political, social and religious background of these “radical” scholars, in their connections and conflicts with each other and in their national and international linkages and reception. In our view, this group consists of members with highly different profiles and we even wonder if it is justified and helpful to call it a “school”. Moreover, we are eager to learn which aspects of these scholars’ work might be of ongoing relevance for present historical and/or theological discussions.

We invite researchers to submit papers that contribute to the reflection about the history and legacy of the Dutch Radical School, especially in regard of its contribution to the intellectual history of the Netherlands as well as its place in the history of scholarship on Paul and his letters. Please note that the thematical issue is mainly interested in the treatment of Paul and his letters by the Dutch Radical School and not so much in questions surrounding the historicity of Jesus, although it will not be possible to clearly separate these two issues from one another in each and every case. Especially welcomed are papers that

  • study the biographical, historical, political, social and religious background of scholars associated with the Dutch Radical School (e.g., A. Pierson, A. D. Loman, W. C. van Manen, G. A. van den Bergh van Eysinga),
  • analyze connections and conflicts between those scholars (Is it helpful to speak of a “school”?),
  • utilize fresh approaches not yet used to analyze this topic (e.g., network analysis, cultural anthropology, sociology of knowledge, history from below),
  • identify and describe international relationships of Dutch Radicals inside and outside of Europe,
  • demonstrate the place of the Dutch Radical School within the broader context of the intellectual and religious history of the Netherlands, and
  • evaluate critically the historical, literary and exegetical arguments put forward by the Dutch Radical School in light of most recent research on Paul and Early Christianity.

Because "Open Theology" is published under an Open Access model, as a rule, publication costs should be covered by Article Publishing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors. Authors without access to publishing funds are encouraged to discuss potential discounts or waivers with Managing Editor of the journal Katarzyna Tempczyk ([email protected]) before submitting their manuscripts. 


Submissions will be collected until January 31, 2024, via the on-line submission system at  

Choose as article type: Doubting Paul

Before submission the authors should carefully read the Instruction for Authors, available at:  

All contributions will undergo critical peer-review before being accepted for publication.  

Further questions about content for this thematic issue can be addressed to Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Grünstäudl ([email protected]) and Prof. Dr. Jacco Pekelder ([email protected]). Financial questions should be directed to journal Managing Editor Katarzyna Tempczyk at [email protected]. In case of technical problems with submission please write to [email protected]

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